Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Southward Bound Once More

Yes, I’m off again.

But before I go on, first please let me apologise for my online absence. Now that I’m off to the back of beyond to resume my adventure in the name of science, I plan to write much more frequently.

The first time I went to Antarctica most of my friends and family were really excited for me. I think they shared in the nervous anticipation of the unknown. Each step I took on my adventure was thrilling.

Now though, a lot of them seem quite puzzled. Why do I feel the need to go back, again and again? Haven’t I seen what I need to see, had my adventure, had enough of the cold and the snow?

I must admit it feels different now than it did when I was planning my first trip. And my motivations have changed. Now I want to go so badly not to find out about another world, another way of life, but because I know I love that way of life and the freedom it gives me. Here's a poem I wrote last time I was south that might help explain what I'm talking about:


To be here, to come here

This place with its view

Means so little to so many

But so much to so few

Who’ve been here, who’ve seen it

Who’ve felt it and lived it

Who’ve kept it inside them

And can’t live without it

Who know its uniqueness

Its whiteness, its bleakness

Who crave its togetherness

And love its remoteness

Who live with the secret

That others can’t know

That this place is special

More than rocks, ice and snow

A world in its own right

That floods all the senses

Such that nothing else matters

Outside of its fences

And each day I wake up

And feel it take hold

There’s beauty in isolation

And there’s warmth in the cold

And I know I’m in love

As each time I depart

All that I think of

Whilst we are apart

Is the day I’ll be back

On this floating ice shelf

Or this snowy mountain

And I smile to myself

Certainly not a work of literary genius but it does talk of that feeling that keeps drawing me back to Antarctica, the feeling that there's nowhere I would rather be in the world!