Day 11–A Frigid Ballet

May 23, 2010 7:41pm

Day four weathering the storm–no bathing suit required

There is undeniable poetry in the violent and chaotic expression of nature’s forces. We see it when the sea is angry; when lightning strikes; with torrential tropical rains; or desert sand storms. Events that have inspired artists through the ages, from the renaissance to today. In the midst of a powerful wind storm on the ice, it is easy to be awed by this natural theater, one which plays like a grand, elemental symphony.

Upon stepping out of the tent, the wind’s strength will take you for a spin, and go for the throw down! But if you gain your balance, in the late afternoon light, the sound and the furry begin to play in rhythmic harmony like a multi dimensional play. The drift galloping over the ice resembles furies from a wild, avant- garde ballet. The sun’s rays play with the sheet of liquid smoke and, in the backlight, what could be seen as a frigid and threatening environment turns into an ethereal dance: delicate, graceful, and expressive. That is, of course, until the cold begins to nibble at the fingers; and with seventy miles an hour winds, that nibble can quickly turn into a vicious bite! By then I guess, it’s time for curtain, and back to reality: we’re still here!

Day four being pinned down by this grand ballet of a damned storm! The winds have hardly let up, and when they do, it’s only to tease and resume, with twice the strength.

In minus 10C degree weather, and with 60 mph winds, the windchill is minus 48! So, standing outside quickly loses its charm. But it is arresting! And make for beautiful images. Mostly we stay in, read, rest and play chess. It’s hard to sleep over the noise of the wind, slamming against the tent, and hurling snow drift at its side. But our structure is holding strong, and provides a remarkable shelter under the circumstances. We are going a little stir crazy, and feel like we’re part of some scientific experiment: let’s see how two people behave after spending 96 hours in a half cylinder, seven feet by four, blasting the decibels of a turbo jet engine inside their tent!

Our mood is fine, however; just egging to move on. Besides, if there is one thing you can’t get mad at, it’s the weather…

Leave a Reply