jpmurad

Chasing Hope

In Wise Eyes on August 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm

As the sun was setting yesterday, Lindsay and I hopped on our bikes and headed for Huntington Beach’s Central Park.  The 365-acre park provided sufficient retreat from the unpacking we had been doing.  All in all, the move went very smoothly.  However, going back to work was another story. 

Monday felt like a day of spiritual dryness.  I was tired of working the same job – ready for something new.  It was tough to ‘feel’ connected to God’s promises of moving me on.  I wonder if His ‘feeling’ distant was actually an opportunity for deepening my faith and trust in Him.  Halfway around the park with Lindsay, I was feeling a renewed sense of hope.  The setting sun, glistening eucalyptus and family scattered throughout the park all suggested that something bigger was taking place.  I felt refreshed taking in the wind and slowly pedaling around the park.

“Hey there,” I called to a man along the path.  Apparently, I had not taken note of his situation.  His sun-leathered back suggested he was accustommed to living outdoors.  All the scattered items on the corner of the path had been his cart of belongings, which had not made the descent down the hill with him.  “F@ck off!” he retorted as he unsheathed a bread knife from a backpack.  He began to cut the straps of his dangling bags to free them from the cart.  I kept pedaling. 

I finished Chasing Lance last night.  Dugard has a great way of delivering the spirit of the tour – that is, the seventh Tour de France that Lance Armstrong won.  I liked the way Dugard impressed a strong sense of drama in the early stages.  He cited the significance of each city the tour went through, drawing from a history of Europe, which far exceeds the US in longevity.  He did not overdramatize the last five stages in which Lance had all but claimed the victory.

As a writer, I learn from Dugard’s attention to sensory details in his storytelling.  He talks about the scent of lavendar, the jagged peaks of the Pyrenees and cheering at the finish line.  Dugard elegently draws upon such themes as hope and courage as demonstrated by Lance, fellow competitors and, most importantly, the ‘LiveStrong’ fan base.  As an ironic twist, Dugard found hope in chasing Lance, while learning from Dugard’s writing brings me hope.

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