Weeks later, now knocking anxiously at Brads (damaged) door, I was about to find out more clearly for myself what all the excitement was about, Matt, Brad, Explo and Luca were all behind the door having made a communal nest out of sleeping bags, climbing and photography gear.
Like everything in life, I already had expectations, I'm only human. Matt was older than I thought he would be, and taller, but most of all, he had a bigger smile than I expected. I always thought of journalism, and so journalists, as being overly serious, I was ignorant, and most of all, I simply hadn't met Matt before!
After a long enjoyable (not enjoyed by Matt) sewers walk, the day ended with Brad, Luca and I dozing off in the bed, with Matt across our feet, legs dangling off the end of the bed over Macs sleeping bag. Matt had won me over and got rid of any mistrust or prior opinions I had with journalists.
GQ link ... kiss the skies.
Through out the time spent with Matt he would often speak of his wife, how he hoped we'd all get the chance to meet her. Having been able to visit Matt since the short adventure we went on together, I've been fortunate to be able to do so. Jess was everything Matt said she would be, if not, somehow more. Recently Jess wrote the following:
'I fell in love with my husband because I had never encountered anyone with a heart so wide open to the world... He took every opportunity to give his friendship, affection, support, assistance, warmth, and encouragement with seemingly infinite reserves...'
Matt had a way of making everyone almost instantly trust and love him. With the support he gave me, proof reading part of my book, being there for me (as well as Jess), he made me feel special. Matt and Jess motivated me to do more, see more and push myself further. They made me feel like I had less limitations and more possibilities. Until recently, I didn't think anyone could understand what they'd given me, but the truth is, Matt gave this and so much more, so many people. I simply don't understand how he had the time, energy or heart to be able to give all that he did to everyone that he did.
Having passed away at the beginning of this year, Matts friends and family, are finding a way to continue his legacy. In the words of Jess:
'Matt's sister Elizabeth has been working tirelessly to ensure that his generosity in support of promising journalists can continue. If we are able to raise a $250,000 endowment now, it will be possible to support an ambitious reporting project each year in perpetuity through the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award. Elizabeth has secured an incredible offer of $50,000 in matching funds for donations given between now and October 22, which would have been Matt's 40th birthday.'
There is so much that is broken in the world, and there is value in journalism that seeks to connect us and open us to one another.'
I understand not everyone is in the position to be able to donate money, but thanks to those who do, and those who can't, please find the time to share these links and read the words written by Matt. They'll be an insight into a career that allowed him to do and see everything he wanted to, experiencing his adventures around the world, as the world got to experience him.