The Art of... bending
Talking of #10yearchallenge you might have seen a side by side picture that went viral showing the melting of the ice in the pole between 2009 and 2019.
Time is a useful instrument to measure the damage. We live in a world where the fast pursuit for more, for short-term, easy gain has led us to blindly compromise our connection to our environment and the very thing that sustains us.
When I went to the North Pole, I have been incredibly impressed by these giant mountains of ice and this picture is one of my favourites. It truly pains me to know they are gradually melting and shrinking.
It is perhaps only now that I fully understand my fascination and love for feeling very small in the midst of the very Grand.
One one side I like having a challenge to overcome. It helps us to measure ourselves, what we’ve got in us, what our boundaries are, what we are able to conquer. The challenge of crossing the polar circle has certainly been one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life and I have learnt so much about myself as a result.
But on the other side, there is perhaps this wrongly instinctive dislike we all have for having to bend, here in front of the elements, what seems stronger than us. Because we like to feel stronger. We like to overcome the odds, be in control. Looking back at this picture though, and knowing the fate of today’s ice, it has started to take on a different meaning for me.
Just like in some cultures, bending is not a sign of weakness but it is about recognition, gratitude and thankfulness. It is about recognising we are better with these giants than without. It is about being grateful they exist and thankful for the major role they play in our lives.
Perhaps it would be wise to not wait ten more years before reconnecting with our environment and rather than bringing it down, take on a new challenge, not to
overcome it, but to bring it back up.
For that we will have to remember the true meaning of bending.