Tuesdays are Ideas Day here at Taking it to the Streets
When I got my motorcycle my very longtime friend Kristi and her wonderful husband Dave gifted me with some of Dave’s books on motorcycling, including, for fun, this book. Which is, at it turns out, only very tangentially about motorcycling, but still a good read.
As a long time leftist, progressive type, of the hippie era, of course I “sort of” knew who Che Guevera was and was quite aware of his iconic images – he seems in many ways to be the poster boy of any leftist revolution or revolution-to-be. Didn’t know a whole lot more about him, heard about the movie made from this book but didn’t see it. Went into the book just curious – no expectations.
What I found was a still contemporary-feeling coming of age adventure story of two young men “on the road to findout” (tip of the hat to Cat Stevens). They set out for an adventure and to see their continent (South America) and along the way Che found a calling, a passion and his destiny.
This book along with Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” ought to be de rigeure for all seekers, especially young ones. Hopefully we’ve all been “on the road to findout” at least in our youth, and ideally several times thereafter. They say “you never forget your first girl” and I think that first journey to the center of one’s self, often cleverly disguised as a roadtrip or adventure is the same – the first one has the biggest impact.
The other thing that struck me about this book is how often “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (sorry I’m so boringly simple that I think in song lyrics). Che and his buddy thought they were off on a road trip – I’m sure neither of them knew it would be the genesis of Che’s calling. Near as I can gather Alberto (his friend) got back to the regularly scheduled program in some form, but the journey formed Che in big ways.
It’s interesting how we find our callings. Some people have a laser-pointed focus knowing from an early age what their path is, never wavering. Some never seem to find it. But I suspect many are like Che – finding their destiny when they weren’t even looking.
Have you read the book? Seen the movie? What was YOUR take?