We had pierced the veneer of outside things

“The rope could not be recovered. We had flung down the adze from the top of the fall and also the logbook and the cooker wrapped in one of our blouses. That was all, except our wet clothes, that we brought out of the Antarctic, which we had entered a year and a half before with well-found ship, full equipment, and high hopes.

“That was all of tangible things; but in memories we were rich. We had pierced the veneer of outside things. We had ‘suffered, starved, and triumphed, groveled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole.’ We had seen God in his splendors, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of men.”

— Ernest Shackleton, South

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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One Response to We had pierced the veneer of outside things

  1. Ry Yelcho says:

    Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down, yet grasped at glory,
    Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?
    “Done things” just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story,
    Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul?

    Have you seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders?
    (You’ll never hear it in the family pew.)
    The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things —
    Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

    – Robert W Service, The Call of the Wild

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