Touching the Void

6 Nov

This week I immersed myself in two vastly contrasting tales of gripping non-fiction. The first was the very true story of two men who summit one of the most remote peaks in the Peruvian Andes only to have one of the climbers plummet off an ice sheet mid-descent. Assuming the worst, his partner guiltily goes back to base camp without him.  And so the fallen climber, with his shattered leg, endures one of the greatest survival journeys ever recorded.

The second was the very true story of one woman whose perfect storybook romance comes crashing down after her fiancé admits to infidelity.  An excellent writer, she solemnly conveys the agony, anguish and hurt that comes with such bone-crushing betrayal.

Then I realized these stories are not so different after all. For anyone who’s ever been really and truly heartbroken, doesn’t the feeling of having a strong grip on the mountain one minute, and the next everything in your life is out of your hands, sound familiar? Surely the void of helplessness and loneliness is comparable. In the end, they are both testaments to the power of human resilience; physical, mental and emotional.  The man survives and continues to climb, years after his near-death experience.  As for the woman, her story of recovery continues and the hope is that she too will be able to regain that which she once held so tightly in her grip.

As humans, we never know what we are capable of until faced with the worst.  Just know that even before you have been given the opportunity to show your resilience, it is undoubtedly within you, too.  Whatever your fall, we’re cheering for you.


touching the void



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