July 21, 2012


on a recent study break (I'm studying for a big med school test which is why I've been so off-blogging) I went on a hike with some friends where part of the discussion led us to the types of quests we're interested in reading about.  There are lots of types of quests - 

One is the classic quest towards a primary goal where all the tasks along the way are necessary in order to learn things or obtain weapons or make friends that help you in achieving that goal.  A contemporary example is Harry Potter - where the goal is to beat Voldemort, or Lord of the Rings, where the goal is to destroy the one ring in Mt. Doom.

The other quest is the one where there is a vague goal at the end, but the adventure is much more the point, and the obstacles have less to do with moving you closer to the quest and more just what happens to get in your way.  The classic example of this might be Odysseus, where he keeps trying to get home, but adventures just keep popping up in his way.  They don't necessarily help him get closer to home or learn things that help him get home, but the journey helps him learn just how important home is.   Hobbit (part of my current summer reading) is also this type of quest and I had forgotten just how many adventures are squeezed into this short book.   It's what made it way more fun to read than the LOTR as a kid, and in a funny way, is a better metaphor for my life right now.  Even though there are definitely some big goals that I'm working towards, my daily life feels like a lot of not-necessarily-related obstacles to puzzle through, that don't exactly get me closer to those big goals but allow me to stumble into all sorts of adventures and questions.  I'm into it.

"There is a lot more to [Mr. Baggins] that you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself."
- Gandalf in the opening chapter of the Hobbit

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