Walking Out Of Eden
Posted by Suchi Shenoy on Aug 25, 2014
“Walking is falling forward,” wrote Paul Salopek in the December 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine. “Each step we take is an arrested plunge, a collapse averted, a disaster braked. In this way, to walk becomes an act of faith. We perform it daily: a two-beat miracle—an iambic teetering, a holding on and letting go. For the next seven years I will plummet across the world.”
Salopek, 52, a two-time Pulitzer Prizewinning American journalist and National Geographic Fellow, has reported extensively from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, and African countries like Chad, Senegal, Mali, and Sudan. In January 2013, he returned to Africa—where he was detained in 2006 on charges of spying and espionage—to “retrace, on foot, the pathways of the ancestors who first discovered the Earth at least 60,000 years ago”.
Paul Salopek is retracing on foot our ancestors’ migration out of Africa and across the globe. His 21,000-mile odyssey began in Ethiopia and will end seven years later at the tip of South America.
He says: "I hope to repair certain important connections burned through by artificial speed, by inattentiveness. I walk, as everyone does, to see what lies ahead. I walk to remember.”
And for the Rumi devotees out there, he starts his page with:
Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
A thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.
— Jalal ad-Din Mohammed Balkhi (Rumi)
You can follow Salopek's story here