Sunday, 28 August 2011

Quotes & Eulogies from Jack Layton's State Funeral at Roy Thomson Hall

The video tribute/montage ... 

"Jack was so alive. So much fun. So engaged in daily life with so much gusto. So unpretentious, that it was hard while he lived to focus on how incredibly important that was to us ... Jack simply radiated an authenticity and honesty and a commitment to his ideals that we now realize we've been thirsting for."

"You could wait forever for perfect conditions, or you can make the best of what you've got"

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.  On a quiet day I can hear her breathing." - Arundhati Roy

"Always have a dream that is longer than a lifetime" - Jack Layton

Monday, 22 August 2011

RIP Jack Layton

It says something about a man when you rack your brain thinking about the things they said, and all you come back to is "I won't stop until the job is done".

A common thread among leaders in any field is that they are never, ever, satisfied.  Complacency & the status quo are not in their psyche because things can be better, things can be different - if we have the courage to put ourselves forward and work at them.  Jack embodied these values of courage, hard work and optimism better than any leader I have seen in Canadian politics in my 31 years.  As the NDP, Liberals, and probably even the Conservatives all engage in hotly contested leadership races in the coming years - let us hope that they each look beyond the specific issues of the day and choose a leader who share these values too. 

The best obit of the day so far is by Joanna Smith in The Toronto Star, at:  Jack Layton Dead at 61

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Mt Everest in 1996

Fully addicted to this story and the various accounts & characters involved, I've now read three of the autobiographical books on the 1996 disaster upon Mt Everest, that from Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air); Anatoli Boukreev (The Climb); and Beck Weathers (Left for Dead). 

Next up on the list:  High Exposure by high altitude mountaineering legend David Breashears.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


Please return to this page after September 1st, 2011

Left for Dead

Some of my favourite quotes from Beck Weathers' account of the infamous 1996 Mount Everest disaster, in his book Left For Dead:

"Our pace was that slow, rhythmic, metronome-like gait ingrained in the frame of my being through years of climbing."  -p37

"You travel in a private bubble of light from your headlamp, the rest of the world as lost to you as if you were alone on the face of the moon." -p38

"In that moment, by saving those three people who otherwise surely would have died, Anatoli Boukreev became a hero.  Let that be the way Anatoli is remembered."  -p52

"Both of them knew exactly what lay ahead.  When those moments had passed and Rob no longer had to be strong, you could hear him quietly weeping as he faced his own death.  He didn't know the radio was still on." -p57

"You cannot sweat that small stuff, I said to myself.  You have to focus on that which must be done, and do that thing." -p62

"The three of them - David, Ed and Robert - are elite mountaineers, among the most famous and accomplished mountain climbers in the world.  It wasn't lost on me that I, the ultimate grunt at the end of his climbing career, suddenly was surrounded by a dream team of mountaineering.  Another of life's little ironies."  -p71

"I know a man who believes he has a brave heart, but he's never been sufficiently challenged to know if this is true.  I will ask him."  -p74

"Madan is to me the most extraordinary person in this story, because he didn't know me at all. He didn't know my family, and he has his own family, for which he is the sole provider. We were separated by language, by culture, by religion, by the entire breadth of this world, but bound together by a bond of common humanity." -p81

"I felt compelled to go to him.  I didn't care where he was.  I didn't really know where I was going, or how I would get there.  But I figured I was going to find him."  -p96

"At no point had this been a pretty or even interesting climb, but when we finally reached the Canelleta, I understood why Trevanian so fiercely loathes Aconcagua.  The Canelleta may be the most miserable natural incline on Earth.  You can't go up it quickly, because you can't get enough breath.  But if you go too slowly it slides out from under you."  -p242