The Songlines was one of the reasons that I left my job and spent a year and a half crossing parts of Asia, entirely on foot. Chatwin made me imagine that I could internalize a continuous unfolding line of footprints—stretching across six thousand miles—and perhaps even be able to call these steps back, and re-create the whole long journey in my memory. I tried to compose epic poems to the rhythm of my footfalls across the Iranian desert; in India I carried the Bhagavad Gita in my hand and read a line at a time; in Nepal I focused on breathing meditation. And I imagined I would arrive like some legendary wanderer with cloak and staff, to the marvel of the villagers.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
… Walking with Chatwin by Rory Stewart | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)