Gerry Moffatt

22 September 2018


THE ELEVENTH STEP Film Expedition: Stardust and Solitude

“It is hard to see clearly or to think straight in the company of other people.”

– Paul Theroux, The Old Patagonian Express

There are gifts I find in solitude, especially on a river. The simplicity of carrying only what I need, of tired muscles and sore hands, of hot tea and cold air, of purple evenings and golden mornings, of silence. No external commentary. And after repeated days of paddling to exhaustion followed by grateful slumber, no internal commentary either. Everything is distilled. In focus. As the years pass, I find myself drawn more and more to these quiet places and this quiet living.

I’m on a remote gravel beach next to an ancient river high on the Tibetan plateau. I have days behind me and many days ahead of me with no companions but silence and solitude. Alone but not lonely. Yet, after a lifetime of adventures in many remote places, I’m only now realizing what I feel out here: I feel Connected. Simply, purely, deeply Connected – despite being miles and miles away from anyone or anything. Connected to this planet. Connected to the bones in my body, the blood in my veins, the stardust in my cells. Connected to my place and time in this life. Most deeply and most new to me…I feel profoundly connected to my family – my wife, my son.


Maybe another word for Connection is Love.  Maybe that’s why adventures transform us – they connect us to what really matters. And what really matters is Love, in all its many faces.


Soon enough I’ll re-enter the world, but sometimes it takes leaving the world to remind me how much I love it. For now, I’m exactly where I’m meant to be – alone.



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