Published: January 15th 2011January 14th 2011
Went for a hike up castle rock on new years day
Well it has been three months without the Internet, but finally as our season comes to a close we get a clear signal. Not really much to complain about thou considering my location can only be described by GPS coordinates (Lat: -77.487 Long:171.567). Even that is not as accurate as one might imagine, considering the Ice Shelf is moving approximately 2m per day. Looking back on my life I would never have thought it would come to this. Living in a tent on the largest body of Ice on the planet. I had never even been snow camping prior to this experience. Yet here I am enjoying every minute of it. Last night I realized that I actually started to enjoy the ever present howling of wind and snow as it bombards my tent at 20knots and -12C. It may sound strange but I am finding it more difficult to sleep in the silence and look forward to the days of blowing snow when I can crawl in my warm sleeping bag and enjoy the security of the tent.
The work can be hard with long days of 15hrs, while occasionally we can find ourselves in a slow period waiting for
Castle Rock II
What a beautiful place
this or that with little to do but odd jobs and preparing for whatever comes next. Most of the time camp life is simple, morning mating at 7:40 followed by work, and as it changes daily I will just call it work. Then we have Smoko, a Kiwi term, or at least that’s where I heard it. Smoko is a break/meal time that we take around 10:30am and get most of our food energy for the days work ahead. Then more work until a light lunch, usually soup around 1:00pm, then more work and dinner around 7:00pm. After dinner activities include chess, cards, movie night, books, and so on. However lately with the introduction of the Internet to the camp we find a shift in our after dinner activities. Makes you wonder about this whole Internet craze and what it means for human interactions. Not that I want to address that issue in this blog, but I could probably write a book about that idea. In fact I would imagine someone already has.
An issue I would like to address is this. I have been doing a lot of meditation in the evenings out here and I find that my
practice is going well, however I have an issue that I already know the answer to but just wanted to write it down so that I don't forget. My issue is that I am not content with the person I am now and thus seek to better myself. Sounds like a reasonable goal at the surface level. However it does not take into account that I am wishing for something that is not. And as we all know, "that which is not is not". It also does not take into account the fact that, “I am perfect in every way, even my imperfections are perfect”. While I am on the subject I would like to clarify that all beings are perfect, it's not just me. This is true because we are all apart of what "is" and we all exists within the reality/truth of life. Therefore we cannot be anything other than perfect. Lets tumble a little deeper down this rabbit hole... One of the things I have come to realize is the duality of life, and the fact that nothing exists without it's opposite. For example, life needs death in order to exist, good needs bad, right needs wrong,
Ross Ice Shelf
Always something to see
up needs down and so on. So while good may be a dominant trait in one person, bad must be a dominant trait in another. It has to be this way otherwise good and bad would not exist at all. The key I think would be to let go of the rigid structure we have all built around the definition of these terms and realize that they are opposite values and thus complimentary. Another way to think about it would be to try and imagine a one sided coin. Not a trick coin with two sides and one mark, but actually a one sided coin. Can you do it? I know I can't, I can't do it because a one sided coin does not exist; in fact I am finding it hard to imagine a one sided anything. All things inanimate or animate have multiple sides, with a minimum of two. The only thing that doesn’t is a sphere, with no sides. Like this we should view the world, not so much as right and wrong but, spherical, with no start and no end, all sides being equal and of equal value to the existence of life as we perceive it.
So how’s that for a philosophical pep talk, most of you, if anybody reads this, are probably thinking, oh no he's gone crazy in Antarctica, and your probably right.