ten percent inspiration…

My friends are an adventurous bunch, all told. Their lives run the gamut from the pragmatic to the fantastic, from raising children outside the status quo to building a business, from forging a path as a graphic design provocateur to mapping the chemistry of the human mind, from hiking the highest mountain passes in Nepal to volunteering time and sweat in Guatemala, from photographic projects in the midst of fruition to writing best-selling novels…
Some that I know see my life as an outlandish adventure as well, they place me in an ‘other’ category reserved for whimsical, questioning, and admiring looks. I see myself in a group of peers, tangling a path that is distinct but not so unique in its encounters. We’re all still a part of the human condition, we all explore learning to be human.
Here, in the midst of the travelers, the artists, the generalists and the roustabouts that collect in Antarctic jobs, here dreams are traded as shared past or longed for future. Fears are parlayed as we look to the next pursuit that will humble us, leave us laughing, astounded, tired, and happy. Anything but bored.
This is a tame place in some regards – the daily moments tend toward the mundane – the breathtaking spread out widely over the year. Still, we exist in such a unique way – a morphing, conversing, cavorting mass of family, bonded by isolation and shared experience. The mundane offers us the opportunity to trade our stories and pursuits, to gather our dreams for the future from the great diaspora of them here.
For me, it’s too early to dream in specifics – we’ve much of our season (over five months) yet to pass. On the other hand, dreaming wide, in possibilities – that I can excel at.
The dreaming breaks down into phases. There are aspects of post-ice travel, of the unknown in the next year and my next job, and of the much larger unknown of the rest of life. The short-term, the travel, is easy.
After leaving the ice I’ll have about a month and a half to tool around before a return home for Christmas. Time in New Zealand is a given being we are dropped off in that paradise. I know there will be hiking, beaches, an attempt at surfing, biking, and general lounge-about laziness but the specific trails and ocean-sides are yet to unfold. I’d like to grab a trip to Hawaii as well, an easy stop off for the way home.
As for the next year, for the next several, I’ve a few different ideas tossing around in the dream fog. Many of the ideas were born here at the South Pole through the spark of inspiration brought by those mentioned above. Many come from friends stateside, some from books, some from random encounters. All of the ideas are stewing, boiling in broth that guarantees something interesting ought come out.
More on that tomorrow. For now, sleep.
For a slice of life here though, Heidi does a great job of describing a barbecue that our Heavy Shop crew threw together this past weekend. In this chunk of the world, that means grilling at -80 F.

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