North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part Three
Day Four: Sunday September 26, 2010
AT THE NORTH POLE
It feels as though we have arrived on the moon. The plane seems even tinier now that we have touched down onto the vast field of pure white, untouched ice and snow. To the East, the wind has carved a few sculpted, hills made of solid ice. The snow extends as far as I can see, far out over the flat, vast ocean that is capped by solid ice, upon which we stand. The pale blue, expansive sky blends with the pale blue tinge of the snow, giving the impression of otherworldly groundlessness and infinite reach in all directions.
We are here for two reasons: for me to perform my songs at the top of the world and to do healing work for the planet Earth. Both of these are to help raise awareness of the speed with which the ice now beneath our feet is melting. In just a few years, we will be among the few who were able to stand here.
That thought seems hard to believe, as it is now -25C, yet this is unseasonably “warm” weather for this location. We were told that at this time of year, it was dangerous for us to land as the ice is thin. I also know that just as the Earth’s physical pollution is carried by wind currents and tragically collects at the top of the world, so too, the Earth’s psychic pollution gathers here. This was part of the call to come. At the crown of the body of our Mother Earth, we can, through song and prayer, offer our presence as service to ease the suffering She endures due to our human ignorance.
Sunanda, Rishi and I launch into high gear to get our work done in the short time frame. We have three hours here until we must board the plane for our safe return. The clock is ticking. We have scheduled for ourselves one hour to shoot the video of my performance and two hours to do the healing work we have come to do. All our actions needed to be trim, prompt and focused, especially with quickly fading light. Immediately we go to the task of shooting me singing four songs at the North Pole.
We are usually a strong, harmonious group, but almost as soon as we land, each one of us becomes anxious, pushy, cranky and tense with each other. One could say our behaviour is simply a reflection of the pressures of the day. Yet I know otherwise. The tricky energies here are seeping into our psyches. There is interference which does not wish our success. We must not only be on our toes to get our tasks done but we must be more inwardly alert than ever to be present as karma yogis, those dedicated to selfless service through action. I feel strengthened with the thought that our group of volunteers we call the Earth Team and the spiritual community we belong to in Toronto are actively praying for us and supporting the success of this mission.
NOT ALL THAT SHIMMERS IS GOLD
Our first task is to look for the ideal location to shoot the performance footage. We need something that will capture the immensity of where we are. Strong light is key. We see in the distance a gorgeous spread of golden light across the snow as the sun begins its descent behind the plane. We decide to walk towards this shimmering expanse as fast as possible and set up the shoot.
Five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes go by trudging with effort through snow and ice as high as our knees. I turn back and see the plane has become a dot in the distance. My heart skips a few beats as I crouch down to push away the snow at my feet and reveal thick, translucent ice. The image of polar animals swimming below me flashes through my mind. I am not on solid land. I am in the middle of nowhere and, now, far from the safety of our plane, the pilots, their rifle and our gear.
I realize that we have made a rookie mistake and already spent a quarter of the time we have for the video shooting, and we are no closer to our golden location. Panic sets in. I quickly conclude that, likely similar to being in a sandy desert, now in this snow desert, without any points of reference, that which seems close is in fact much further away than what our senses can perceive.
I stop abruptly and the sound of crunching ice and snow beneath my feet also ceases. I understand that we are chasing a sparkling, fractal illusion of light. We believe we are moving closer to it, yet it is quickly receding from us, drawing us further and further away from safety and now sabotaging our mission. I call out to Sunanda and Rishi who also stop walking. I suggest we set up our shot exactly where we are with the light we have left before we lose it altogether. This is our one and only chance to get the shots we needed. We cannot spend any more time seeking “the perfect light”. This is the perfect place to be. So we begin.