Beyond the Point

I read somewhere recently that Shackleton, when he was making preparations for his horrifying excursion into the Antartic, posted a recruitment ad. This is how it read:

MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. SMALL WAGES. BITTER COLD. SAFE RETURN DOUBTFUL.

Over 5,000 men applied. He chose 27. When I read the book South and then came across this recruitment ad, I am reminded of my own sense of what I'm to do. I don't feel called to go over familiar ground. I don't feel any excitement in maintaining discovered territory. I have no interest in culturing our found country. I hear a beckoning to unknown frontiers. I feel an irresistible tug towards undiscovered lands. I don't want to go alone, but I will. I realize the dangers. I'm aware of the pay. I know the unfriendly conditions. I know I might venture out beyond safe return. But I just know there's something out there. And I want to find it.


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