"You cannot walk out your grief, "he tells himself. "Or bring anyone back. You are left with the desire only that things not be as they are." This is the reason he has resolved to go "walking to a place beyond your own history, the sound of the river flowing the other way." To embark on a journey is, he reminds himself, "my profession, after all."
Kailas on yksi maailman pyhiinvaelluskohteita - vaikeimmin lähestyttäviä sellaisia. Yksinäinen lumihuippuinen vuori Tiibetissä. Siellä, missä suuret joet saavat alkunsa. Vaikea pääsy ei ole kuitenkaan estänyt historian saatossa muitakin kuin matkakirjailija Colin Thubronia pääsemästä perille... siellä on käynyt jo vuosisatoja sitten brittiläisiä botanisteja, intialaisia vakoojia, jesuiitta-lähetystyöntekijöitä jne. Thubronin oma matka alkoi viimeisen perheenjäsenen kuoleman jälkeen:
---he asks: "and you? Why you are doing this, travelling alone?
I cannot answer.
I am doing this on account of the dead.
Sometimes journeys begin long before their first step is taken. Mine, without my knowing, starts not long ago, in a hospital ward, as the last of my family dies. There is nothing strange in this, the state of being alone. The death of parents may bring resigned sadness, even a guilty freedom. --
--"Our lives were very poor. When I saw how my parents worked on the fields, and how they had to take my eldest sister out of school to join them, I knew I didn't want that life. I don't know how much my father had to cheat and lie in order to feed us - eight children. He has a job looking after the company armoury, but would leave it to catch fish whenever he could. He must have caused suffering to many fish, to feed us... What do Christianity say about things like this?
I rummaged in my memory. But Jesus's apostles left lake of Galilee not out of pity for fish, but consern for humans. Tashi's face had an almost contrite gentleness. When I looked him, I wondered how compassion formed. But he answered that Buddhism was a science, that compassion could be taught, that you could train for it. --
Kirjan kannessa oli John Simpsonin hehkutus: "I would rather read Collin Thubron than any other travel writer alive." - Eikä se näyttänyt olevan liioiteltu ylistys. Colin saa sinut mukaansa matkalle, avaa eteesi kiehtovalla tavalla maisemat, historian sekä keskustelut erilaisia maailmankatsomuksia edustavien ihmisten kanssa.