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Jerri Nielsen

  • ... some journalists have described the South Pole as 'hell on earth.' Others refer to my time here as 'an ordeal.' They would be surprised to know how beautiful Antarctica has seemed to me, with its waves of ice in a hundred shades of blue and white, its black winter sky, its ecstatic wheel of stars. They would never understand how the lights of the Dome welcomed me from a distance, or how often I danced and sang and laughed here with my friends. And how I was not afraid.

  • I have always been a night person. When the sun goes down, my spirits rise. I'm more alert, quicker, more in tune with the rhythms of the world.

  • I believe in geographic cures — they allow you to throw all your cards in the air and see where they land, then pick them back up and deal them again.

  • ... you needed to be as unobtrusive as possible in a small, overcrowded environment where people lived too closely for too long. I would come to believe that expansive houses and standard, nuclear families served to isolate the human soul, and that tight, tribal communities were infinitely more suited to our natures, but I wasn't ready to feel that yet. We had to be introduced slowly to the notion of giving more than you have and using less than you need, of living without outward privacy, of knowing that all you really own are your own thoughts.

  • ... I understand that it is not when or how you die but how and if you truly were ever alive.

  • I don't believe that life can be counted by years or days, but by experience and how you leave the world by the way you live.

Jerri Nielsen, U.S. physician

(1952 - 2009)

Full name: Jerry Lin Nielsen FitzGerald.