It’s now been 44 days since I published the 12th post of the Mongolia/Siberia series, and had promised to do a few more. Specifically, on Shamanism. For that is what most people who learn of my travels to this little known (for us westerners) part of the world ask about. So I will do two more posts on that aspect of our journey, as well as another post reporting on our final day — and picnic — with a visit to an extraordinary little art museum, on the shores of Lake Baikal.
The first post on Shamanism (14th of this series) will focus on a more extensive recounting of my trek, with a Siberian guide, to a remote portal high on a mountain ridge on the Siberian steppes.
The second post on Shamanism (15th of this series) will include my roommate J.K.’s notes (and my) recounting of an incredible ceremony during our two night stay on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal. Plus our brief, poignant meeting with a young shaman in a village, and as well, our four hour meeting with a Buddhist monk in another village nearby. We took a group picture there, the only one that our Siberian/Mongolian guide Erjen has allowed me to use.
Finally, the third and final post (16th), recounting, in photos, our long trek downhill to the southwestern shore of Lake Baikal on our final day in Siberia, includes not just our memorable outdoor meal, but the remarkable art of Nicholas Roerich.
All in all, this will make 16 posts on my journey to Siberia/Mongolia, and while the entire experience still conjures up enormous feeling inside me, while it altered me forever and ever, I’ve also had a number of other strong interludes since, including a weeklong trip to Alaska, the wild parts of which remind me very much of Siberia.
This morning, I decided to review my entire “corpus” of the Siberia/Mongolia, 2017 journey in order to prepare myself to re-enter the flow of this extraordinary experience, so that I may complete what I promised above.
BTW: When I told housemate Dan about this project, he asked, “Why, have people been asking for that?” As usual, that kind of question perplexed me. I don’t write to please others. And besides, as I told him, I follow Gertrude Stein’s admonition: “I write for myself and one other stranger.” If there is one person for whom these three new pieces are welcome, I will be happy! And even if there aren’t, or if I never know, still, what counts for me is that I do what I say I’m going to do. It’s my own sense of completion that matters to me. Always was, always will be!