After a harsh storm and very slow progress towards their goal, things became very existential.
Thought follows thought – you pick the whole to pieces, and it seems so small – but high above all towers one form … Why did you take this foyage? … Can I do otherwise? Can the river arrest its course and run up hill? My plan has come to nothing. That palace of theory which I reared, in pride and self-confidence, high above all silly objections has fallen like a house of cards at the first breath of wind. Page 124
But no there is no getting over the evidence of that Siberian drift-wood. Page 124
But if, after all, we are on the wrong track, what then? Only disappointed human hopes, nothing more. And even if we perish, what will it matter in the endless cycle of eternity? Page 125
Once they’d understood that the drift ice was slowly but surely taking them North, spirits had brightened significantly.
An Irish proverb says, “Be happy: and if you cannot be happy, be careless, and if you cannot be careless, be as careless as you can.” This is good philosophy, which – no , what need of proverbs here, where life is happy! It was in all sincerity that Amundsen burst out yesterday with, “Yest, isn’t it just as I say, that we are the luckiest men on earth that can live up here where we have no cares, get everything given us with-out needing to trouble about it, and are well off in every possible way?” Hansen agreed that it certainly was a life without care. Page 148