February 23rd :: 68 Degrees South

Journal Entry #17: There’s nothing incidental about returning from a journey like the one we took to Antarctica. I held Antarctica as a destination inside for the better part of my life. Every since my father spun a globe in my room, the poles rooted in my imagination.

It was nothing like I imagined.  There are no words to describe the majestic beauty and delicate impermanence of icebergs the size of buildings floating like nature’s Brancusi’s at sea. It’s fair to say that I was blinded by my ambition to walk in the footsteps of explorers. Perhaps it was blindness that drew them to the poles, repelled us away from the comforts of home and into the wild.

I still can’t explain where the inclination to touch something virgin and wild comes from – perhaps it is the wellspring of all life – that we yearn to preserve what is wild within ourselves, and thus wild in our environment.

Having returned, I question the distinction between self and what’s around us. Borders, territory, even our own skin are very thin barriers to what is flowing all around us, through us, all the time.

In retrospect, what happened down there, between Chloe and I, was the finest gift I could have dreamed of. There’s nothing easy about losing yourself for the first time; yet somehow, getting lost is the only choice, and having this other there, to help you pick up the piec- es, is perhaps a marker of what it actually means to be married.