from The Size of the World
© 1995 / Jeff Greenwald
Whenever an O approaches in my life, I get an irresistible urge to jump through it. The ’round-the-world overland journey I envisioned was my gut response to a long-anticipated need – as March 6, 1994, crept ever closer – to perform a worthy and appropriate ritual. What better way to celebrate the circle, as cycle, shape and circus hoop?
But there was something else, even more compelling. In Indo-Tibetan Asia, performing a kora – a clockwise circumambulation around revered shrines, holy cities or sacred mountains – is considered a supreme act of pilgrimage. This, then, was my goal: To perform a kora around the Earth itself.
The idea had looked great on paper. As I plotted my route, though, and fathomed the lonely logistics of such a voyage (weeks at sea, days on trains, hours on oxcarts), my heart sank. Six months was a long time. It was a very long time. It was more time, I realized, than I could bear to spend with myself. (more…)