My Conversation With Mara

This photo of me was taken during a mountain bike race in Michigan in 1992,  I’d been training very hard that summer, maybe a little too hard. I’d done a race-simulation workout the week before, and I was still a little tired from it.

When my race began, I had a terrible start. It felt like most of the field left me behind in the first quarter mile. As I suffered through the first bit of the race, I began to have a conversation with myself.

“I don’t know why you bother racing. You’re no good. How many hours a week do you train? Maybe you don’t have any talent. Or maybe you’re not tough enough. You should quit. You should quit right now.”

Continue reading “My Conversation With Mara”

Ithaka

ithaka island Greece

I’ve been re-listening to an audiobook of Homer’s Odyssey. The version I’ve been listening to has Ian McKellen reading Robert Fagles’ amazing translation.

Once again, I’m struck by how The Odyssey has influenced so many other stories. Bits and pieces of The Odyssey are found in Pinocchio, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, pretty much any quest story will draw on Homer’s work.

Over the next year, I”ll write some words of my own about the Odyssey, but for now, I’d like to share with you the poem, Ithaka, by Constantine P. Cavafy. As I think of the journey of self-understanding I’ve been on, and the obstacles—some self-created—I’ve faced, I enjoy this poem more and more.  Maybe it will speak to you. Enjoy! Continue reading “Ithaka”