Gerry Moffatt

06 November 2018

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THE ELEVENTH STEP Film Expedition: The Sacred and Profane

“All travel is circular … After all, the grand tour is just the inspired man’s way of heading home.”

— Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar

 

I’m ready for home.  Hot showers, familiar faces, family, and every day life.  It’s been a challenging 2 months filming in the Himalaya and I’ve got the Kathmandu cough and blistered hands that are my usual take-home souvenirs.  I’ll admit there were times when I wondered whether committing to a documentary film trilogy was a smart idea.  We won’t be done with The Eleventh Step for another year and sometimes the journey and effort feels daunting.  Making any film is difficult.  Making a low-budget film even harder.  Making a micro-budget film in harsh overland conditions, in developing countries with limited access to resources or support….probably the hardest.  While I was re-packing duffels for yet another 5am departure, camping in dirt beside a remote highway, or paddling alone over another horizon line far from help, I would remind myself that struggle lies at the heart of any good story.

India continues to take my breath away – even after knowing her for most of my life. She is difficult, demanding, dangerous, and delightful all at once.   She’s never been a vacation.   She’s an Experience.  She is where I see most clearly humankind’s unique ability to hold both the sacred and the profane in equal measure.  You cannot help but face Life here, and in so doing, face yourself.  Your discomforts, your expectations, your fears, your prejudices, your judgments, your bodily limits…as well as your wonder, your joy and your sense of adventure.  It’s all here for the taking…or the rejecting.  Whatever you feel about India, it’s almost certainly more a reflection of who you are than it is about India.  She is what she is, what she always was and always will be…. a mirror for our souls.

 

I can’t help feeling that maybe we’ve had the purpose of life all backwards.  Maybe the point isn’t to discover how much we can change the world for the better.  Maybe the point is to discover how much we will allow the world to change US for the better.

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