Day 28–Surrender

December 3, 2011 1:11pm

December 2, 2011

S76°23.165 E018°14.968

Elevation 11296 feet

With today came the epiphany I was waiting for. No, it was not the wind; as expected, it remained weak for most of the day, and shut off, as usual and on cue, around 17:00. The epiphany had nothing to do with external forces. Simply put: I surrendered. I adjusted my expectations, which had been optimistic to the point of naivete. Something about the definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and again expecting a different result. Well, expecting more wind when the signs point elsewhere resonates of the same. I expected the mental adjustment would come, as it has on every expedition. Given enough time, you find it within yourself to relinquish control and embrace all of it: the highs, the lows and everything in between. As we are now one third into the trip, the same basic laws of life apply. Roll with the punches, don’t be phased by challenges–they’ll always be there and eventually resolve themselves, one way or the other–and attitude is everything. And so today, upon setting off, I looked ahead at the endless sea of ice, and as my kite slowly lifted off the ground, I decided to love all of it. OK, music was a catalyst, I’ll admit it. But only insofar as smoothing the transition. My decision was already made: no equipment failure, broken bones or any amount of externalities can challenge the fact that, internally, I realize the extraordinary experience Eric and I are living–right now. Every day, we set off into a world that may as well be the moon. A world so antagonistic to any form of life, and yet we prevail. What’s more, it is a blank canvas on which to paint anything I choose, and re-evaluate the world in the way that works for me. My mind is serene, and as I stare into this frigid realm, I see freedom, not pain. Each foot of ground covered, however slowly, is another small miracle, and a victory that lives outside the records, the clamor and the validation. It is a victory of the self.

Now. About the music: happy, happy, joy, joy! Not since Greenland last year have I come to experience the perfect marriage of music with putting on miles. Think road trip without a road! Nowhere is music more transcendental than in a desert. And this ice desert is no exception. If you think the spiritual epiphany had to do with my iPod, you would only be partially right. In truth, the iPod stopped working two hours into our day–probably the cold. But it was enough to set the tone. To that effect, a huge thank you to my friend and favored DJ who provided playlists for the trip: Isaiah Martin–you rock! And to DJ Temple Monkey a.k.a. Beau Robb who is quickly climbing the list of my personal favorites–thank you for the beats!

There was a pocket today, by mid afternoon, when the wind picked up for an hour; the terrain smoothed out completely; with the wind in our back and even sans music, the scratching of the skis on the ice with the high pitch whistling of the kite’s lines provided the perfect organic sound, and that was a taste of perfection. Soon, it was back to the grind but somehow, today, even that felt right.
We traveled 73.5 kilometers and are now 967 km from the Antarctica Pole of Inaccessibility.

5 Responses to “Day 28–Surrender”

  1. Eva says:

    This post is so beautiful. Thank you!

  2. Penelope Casadesus says:

    So happy that your mind at least has become serene to deal with the incredible journey you and Eric have undertaken – for me it borders on craziness and your family has been following your blogs with anxiety. I was especially worried that your resolve to continue would leave you on this trip which sounds as if it’s more difficult than all the others. As I’ve said before: rather you than me!! It sounds at last as if you’re making progress. I was worried that you’d run out of food!!
    All my love and thoughts are with you. We all can’t wait for you to get back and are especially sad that you’re not with us for Christmas at Fay! Your mother who loves you xxxx

  3. Isaiah says:

    Good to be with you there my friend!!! Rack up some miles!!!

  4. Sian says:

    Music and words such a powerful thing. Thoughts are with you Sebastian. Be safe.

  5. BASILE says:

    The most important: you remain serene in a magnificent white site.

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