LITA ALBUQUERQUE - DECEMBER 7, 2006 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
What stands out on this plane is the fact that all the grantees are given EWG (extreme weather gear) including The Big Red (Parka) which gives a visual continuity and a visual rhythm to the greyness of the hull. Red is what unites us, red the color of passion and love and desire. Red that signals fire and heat, heat which is life itself.
So it is in the big red that we recognize each other, that we realize we are part of a coveted group, that we are all here because we have wanted to be here, because we love adventure and travel, but most of all because our passion has brought us to a distillation of our life’s work and curiosity.
And now as we land on the continent, the curiosity and passion rolls out of the plane as the door of the grey military plane opens onto the vastness of Antarctica, and one by one the big red starts populating the vastness of the white, one by one the red descends the stairs, into blinding white light, red into reflective white snow all around, peripheral vision all white except for the red that is already on the ice, white on the periphery, white horizontally below the feet, white circularly around the horizon, white up the mountain ranges that encircle us.
The red of us descending onto the white of the whiteness, for one moment, gasping. The whiteness of it all, the blinding light as if indeed we have landed on another planet, as if indeed we are weightless in our bunny boots and red parkas like the astronauts on the moon. And so it takes a minute or two to take it in, we are overwhelmed, we have lost our senses, we have another set of senses, maybe. We simply are in the white, and we surrender to the sensations that engulf us.