Recently I stumbled upon my copy of Touching the Void and re-read it, and re-watched the movie version. The book remains über-inspirational the second time through; the movie's a bit less so, but still visually stunning. It's Joe Simpson's true story of mountaineering in the Peruvian Andes and his near-miraculous survival after a disastrous fall broke his leg. Much credit goes to his climbing partner Simon Yates.
In the afterword "Ten Years On ..." a paragraph appears that I overlooked before. It's part of a quote from Simon Yates's book Against the Wall:
Ultimately, we all have to look after ourselves, whether on mountains or in day to day life. In my view that is not a licence to be selfish, for only by taking good care of ourselves are we able to help others. Away from the mountains, in the complexity of everyday life, the price of neglecting this responsibility might be a marriage breaking down, a disruptive child, a business failing or a house repossessed. In the mountains the penalty for neglect can often be death.
"Look after ourselves"—the vital importance of which is only slowly dawning on me. I'm working on it ...
(cf. TouchingTheVoid (2004-06-02), ...) - ^z - 2009-11-11