Would you believe . . . Odysseus​?

I like it when Don Adams says it this way on Get Smart:

I used to enjoy this show so much, and always marveled at agent 99 and that tension between her and Max.

I am wondering what kind of agent, what kind of hero??? I must become, what sort of strength(s) I need. This much I know: definitely a work in progress.

And I knocked out Hercules, silly of me! So I went to Sampson, but that tale does not end well for him (although noble he was), and it is certainly not good for the Philistines. It might come to that, actually bringing something down on my head, but I doubt it, and I don’t/do really care; I’m not afraid at all.

I am still thinking it through. This is me thinking: I have considered growing out my hair and going native, more than once. I am halfway to being a Nazarite anyway, except for that hair. And I know much is required, therefore supplied by the Creator. And . . . but, no it doesn’t end well. And I am only thinking anyway.

So, for now, would you believe . . . Odysseus?

They are broad waters; I do know that, Mr. Gorecki, and thank you, truly. There are challenges and obstacles, but they are not actual barriers. No closed doors or gates or ports of call that are barricaded, no fortress that requires anything like a Trojan Horse, they are simply obstacles.

But that just takes me back to gym class in fifth grade. One day we boys came in and the entire gym was set up as an obstacle course. Most of the challenges were straightforward enough and they took time but were not overly difficult for anyone who was somewhat fit. Even my buddy Bobby O. who was huge could do them all. And there was no one, no one, who could defeat him in wrestling. Thank God he was far beyond my weight class! But this one obstacle was throwing everyone a curve, especially Bobby.

It was a horizontal wooden beam, a balance beam, that had been lowered close to the floor before the finish line. You had to get very low and crawl under it, and then raise back up and run to the finish line just beyond. I watched many of the guys do that. They’d crawl like a crab with four legs, and then get up and run on two legs, racing to the finish. Poor Bobby had a time of it, but he finished too. Then it was my turn.

I looked at the polished wood floor of that gym and at my own cotton pants and t-shirt. Crawling was distinctly undignified, especially with anyone watching, so I ran as fast as I could toward the beam. Just before it, I dropped down and slid on my back under it. And kept sliding all the way across the finish line.

Yeah, it was fairly glorious, that finish. And it wasn’t a timed challenge; you just had to complete it. There were no rules or guidelines and no real winners or losers.

All we really had to do was make it across.


Photograph “Faith, Finish . . . Forest” © 2018 Timothy Waugh