Ecologist David Ainley’s Indispensable Friends

Can’t leave them behind

after spending more than 35 seasons in the Antarctic, my shelves are now crammed with field books. Many of the entries have since been logged into endless computer spreadsheets and exist in digital pixels to be shared with colleagues instantly around the world. Nevertheless, the daily context in which the data really lived is only revealed by going back and slowly thumbing my way through the books, page after page. It’s an enjoyable process returning to what have become, essentially, my indispensable ‘friends’.

David Ainley, Explorers’ Sketchbooks, pg 244

Lydia Davis returns to a sentence to better understand its meaning. Ecologist David Ainley returns to his journals, his indispensable ‘friends’, for enjoyment.

Repetition has multiple rewards.

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