1. She tastes rocks. She works up north, near Svalbard, putting small rocks to her tongue. By taste she can identify which are calcified, which, in other words, are not mere rocks but possibly fossils. The country is old. There was life here.
Life of a different kind hides in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an ark for the future of humanity. There is, will be life here. It is a vault that imagines a cataclysm yet to come, and Norway hosts this vault on behalf of humanity. A thought experiment made real, in the keeping of the earth, a lever point.
The paleontologist is married to Andreas.
2. The summer has been dry. The fields look scorched (as blond as the groups of women I will later see walking down Bogstadveien). Andreas tells me that if there had been any doubt before, if the rules of evidence were sufficiently complex that one couldn’t say of any given weather spike that it was caused by climate change, all such doubt is now gone. This is the first year, he says, that one can say for sure and fear no contradiction that the climate has changed, that, without a doubt, things are getting hotter. As he speaks, I watch a man walk across a field, lit by the late afternoon’s glare.