walls without sides

Mani walls are like generous mounds of pause buttons in and along the paths of the Himalaya. So called because each flat stone has been carved with the mantra “Om mani padme hum,” they are meant to be walked around, a momentary 360 degrees, a freely offered chance to take an intentional breath and get a glimpse of how wide the world really is between all the various point A’s and B’s.

I was twenty-four, sitting on a backpack and leaning back upon sacred words, but ruminating on how my father, in response to this little revelation, would likely mutter that I had been wandering around a bunch of mani for close to three years now. Twelve time zones away, so young and trying so hard to “get” somewhere in my life, and with the amazing good fortune to even be there at all, and I was still in Houston, Texas.  Running away, but arriving nowhere.
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