Wandering I

Sailing to Antarctica, photographing the Sinai, and other adventures in being

"We were traveling through the HaNegev, part of the Judean wilderness, and we camped a lot. So at night we'd sit around talking about all sorts of things. My friend was very secular also, but he could tell I was teeter-tottering, trying to incorporate myself into two worlds. He said, 'Horizons tell you you can be in a place where heaven and earth come into contact.' That happens in the Antarctic, too. Without the oxygen, it's much more familiar to the outer planets. You really do have a sense that you're on an object that's just floating in the firmament. It's really the end of the world, or an end of the world.

"That's one of the reasons I go to so many remote places: Because you can stand apart from everything and look back with some clarity."

As morning shaded into afternoon, Klipper went off to retrieve a sheaf of his writings. Among the papers he returned with was a poem he'd written in 1996 after seeing an exhibit of Eugène Atget's photographs. A few stanzas rather neatly encapsulate what Klipper had been talking about:

Stuart D. Klipper

The world is big. Be in it.

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