Ice Friday: Joe Simpson Touches the Void

Joe Simpson’s memoir of survival, Touching the Void, focuses on the battle within:

I had never been so entirely alone, and although this alarmed me it also gave me strength. And excited tingle ran down my spine. I was committed. The game had taken over, and I could no longer choose to walk away from it. IMG_4858It was as if there were two minds with me arguing the toss. The voice was clean and sharp and commanding. It was always right, and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions. The other mind rambled out a disconnected series of images, and memories and hopes, which I attended to in a daydream state as I set about obeying the orders of the voice. I had to get to the glacier. I would crawl on the glacier, but I didn’t think that far ahead. If my perspectives had sharpened, so too had they narrowed, until I thought only in terms of achieving predetermined aims and no further. 20150717_140907Reaching the glacier was my aim. The voice told me exactly how to go about it, and I obeyed while my other mind jumped abstractly from one idea to another.