“Yes, there is a state of mind beyond dreaming. It is called quiinuinaqtuk. It is like a window through which one can see into things as never before. It’s as if you’ve moved out of the tiny space you occupy in this world and can see the world whole and can see past its shadows. There are five shades in this state of mind, each one different, each one lighting the fire of powerful thought.
“There is angnatsiaq. Because you and I are men, I will describe it to you as a man. This is the state of mind when you think deeply of a woman. No, it is not thinking about making love to her or her earthly charms. It is thinking about her as a beautiful and totally necessary part of your life. Her smell, touch, voice, movement and presence are as important to you as breathing. She is ageless. The both of you ensure each other’s survival and in the bottom of your hearts you know that you will travel together forever. She is that one missing part of you that has made you a whole person. Every sunrise begins in her eyes.
— Osuitok Ipeelee in conversation with Norman Hallendy in Inuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic by Norman Hallendy, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000). As excerpted in Parabola, Volume 31, Number 1, (Spring 2006), p. 54-5. Cited in full at Cheri33612’s Blog.
Related Media: “Stories in Stone” National Parks magazine, Volume 82, Number 3, (Summer 2008), p. 22.
"Inuksuit: Silent Messengers of the Arctic"