Between university and the birth of my son I lived in five countries and bounced around a few others. Life was wild, as it should be in youth, always running to catch the next train of experiences. Having a child has a tendency to act as an anchor, forcing you to migrate into being the second most important person in the world, it is sobering and yet it is something we do quite naturally, instinctively even. Since his birth I have had the time to pan my earlier chaotic highs for small nuggets of wisdom, to try to assemble them into some basic philosophy and thus tease out a meaning from this life puzzle. But the jigsaw is incomplete.

Over this last week I have spent a good deal walking the streets of Punta Arenas, exploring both its lighter and darker sides, trying to find the pulse of the place. I have had much to think about, much on my mind and even a wound to heal. During these walks, these moments of reflection, it has dawned on me that my attempt on the South Pole is not simply the realisation of a childhood dream but also a quest to find the source of things, the things that are missing in me.

To complete a metamorphism one must pass through the stages of embryo, nymph, pupa, and imago. The imago is the last stage of an incomplete metamorphis. The stage in which damaged tissue and missing limbs may be regenerated or reformed. My attempt on the South Pole is my spiritual imago and through it I hope to emerge with a few more pieces of the puzzle. The same puzzle that my son must also one day endeavour to solve.

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