Posted by: jeanne | March 5, 2010

why i want to go to antarctica

i’ve always had a thing about antarctica, ever since i read kim stanley robinson’s antarctica.

i mean, i hate the cold.  i live in the south, and i manage in the heat, but i don’t like to be cold.  and i hear it’s beyond cold in antarctica; that you never warm up.

but something is drawing me.  especially since they’ve got this nsf-organized residency for artists and writers, and bunches of them have gone down there, to see what nobody else gets to see.

and that’s part of why i want to go.  it’s impossible.  and it’s impossibly beautiful.  and because it’s beautiful and impossible, i want to paint it.

but you should see the application process.  you pretty much have to be an institute of higher learning in your wee little self in order to fill out the paperwork.  and i don’t understand what they’re talking about, because i don’t do academese anymore and it really is a language that fades quickly.

and plus, i’ve had cancer, so they don’t really want people with obvious red flags going, because what if something should happen while you’re down there.  i haven’t actually found the place where they say it disqualifies you, because it’s in reams of application documentation that i haven’t yet begun to read.

the reason i’m looking into a residence in antarctica is because i’m rereading robinson’s book, which he did after going on the artist and writers residency.  he paints such a compelling picture.  and the photographs you can find on the net, they’re simply amazing.

the reason i’m rereading robinson this time is that i’m working on a pirate novel.

you know, i’ve always wanted to write a pirate novel.  starring a young version of me, of course.  or someone like me.  doing all the things i would do if i had the courage.  and how antarctica fits in is that i was looking on google earth, and noticed that the caribbean looks remarkably like the area between the tip of south america and antarctica, complete with a semicircle of islands.

so i got to wondering, what would it be like if the earth’s crust rotated so antarctica was in thetropics, and all the ice melted, and people inhabited it.  like if a comet hit and when the dust cleared there was this primitive society just hitting the waves in little boats.

of course, this is in the middle of setting a traditional pirate novel in the bermuda triangle, only having a girl like me in it makes it nontraditional, and she ends up being a very modern day pirate who goes back in time to the golden age of piracy, around 1720.  anyway, it gets complicated, like i said, but it started me thinking all over again about my fascination with antarctica, and the strong desire to go there, which i will probably never experience.

just thought i’d keep you up to date with what i’m thinking these days.  it’s a real case of cabin fever.

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