Just 97 miles away




The magnetic pole drew Shackleton, called Ernest by friends and family. He had a vision of standing in the frozen south, looking north toward England. He faced the cold and vowed that he would reach “the end of the axis upon which this great round ball turns.”





On the first day of the year 1908, mid-summer in his upside world, Shackleton and the crew of the Nimrod sailed toward the bottom of the world. After 29 days, they could sail no more. The ice embraced the ship, and the cold plotted through the fall and winter to kill them, but they survived, waiting in the long darkness for the sun to rise again. When October turned spring, Shackleton and three others set out for zero longitude.





Like most of us, he almost reached his dream, just 97 miles short. That’s 156 kilometers for those who dream in other places.




Our dreams draw us, and in spite of hunger, frost-bitten feet, and the blinding white of despair, we slog on, so often turned back just miles from the place where we had hoped to plant our flags.




Dick and Jane: Bulwer-Lytton and Hemingway


 Look, Jane, look.

See the dark.

I cannot see the dark, Dick.

I see the storm.

I see the night.

I see the dark and stormy night.

Run, Spot, run!

Run in the rain, Spot.

Funny Spot.

See the torrents.

See the rain.

The rain falls in torrents.

Look, Dick, look.

See the wind.

The wind is violent.

See the big word.

See the big wind.

Look! Puff can fly.

Bye, Puff, bye.

See the man.

The man is old.

The man can fish.

He is in a boat.

I can spell boat.

See me spell.


Where is Spot?

Where is Puff?

Where is Dick?

Where is Jane?

They are not in the boat.

The man is alone.

The boat is in the water.

See the boat float.

The man can count.

He can count the days.

He counts to 84.

Look at the fish!

Look! Look!

Where are the fish?

Ha, ha.

I made you look.

There are no fish.

The man has no fish.