Traveling Well: “Enamored of the Flower”

After our photoshoot with Ken Ogorek ’87 and Professor Raymond Williams H’68 at the Sacred Journeys exhibit at The Children’s Museum in Indianapolis last year, we asked Williams (chair of the exhibit’s advisory board and an expert in Swaminarayan Hinduism) to tell us about his world travels. Standing by a map in the museum, he showed us the places he had been, some of the people he had met, how those travels had so enriched the life of a man who grew up in a small town in West Virginia.

I was reminded of something he had told me years ago when I had asked him what had drawn him to study in (and return often) to India. He told me about the lotus, the national flower of India:

“The petals of the lotus flower are beautiful, but it emerges from the mirkiest, dirtiest water there is. The lotus transforms that.

“People who visit India either become enamored of the flower, or repulsed but the water. I became intrigued by the beauty, the color, the pageantry, and the lovely people—so generous, so hospitable.”

That’s traveling well.

Read more about Williams’ and Ogorek’s work on Sacred Journeys in the print edition of WM, Fall 2016, page 74.

 

Photos by Kim Johnson