I saw a post on the BBC news site today that Facebook were going to axe their ‘other’ messages folder, which was news to me, as I didn’t know I even had one (I have a personal page and a page page). Anyway I worked out where it was, clicked on it and bingo, there were a few hundred unread and unanswered messages going back over two years. I know it’s daft but I hate to think of people taking the time to write to me and for me not to respond, and so try to always do so - even if it’s just a thanks. In there were tons of nice messages, stuff about talks seen, or books read, or TV programs watched, but then there were also the nuggets, like the guy who to his dad, a climber, who has motor neurone disease, to one of my talks, and how he enjoyed it.
I know that I moan on a bit about writing and juggling the things in my life, and how I struggle with the value of myself, but in these messages there are always things so raw and powerful that you cannot help but feel the path you are on can only be for good. Such messages, so open, honest, revealing and complex as this:
Hi andy, I have just finished reading my dads signed copy of cold wars. I guess that means he met you at some point. He died in the alps 2years ago an reading your book had been extremely moving as since his death I have been on sort of the same emotional roller coster with climbing. ( I must have said I was giving up climbing on nearly all the routes I have done recently) . Anyway I just wanted to say that it is one of the most wonderful powerful books I have read.
So thank you all.
A Snickers bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram