top of page
  • robertfarago1

When Life Throws You Curves...



Last night, I dreamed I was back on The Blue Ridge Parkway. Fritz and I were flying through the corners like Pete "Maverick" Mitchell repeating Luke Skywalker's Star Wars Death Star destruction.


Suddenly, I was losing control. My ability to anticipate and accommodate the turns winding through the mountains degraded ominously. More and more with each corner.


I was tired. Time to stop.


I pulled into a turnout I'd experienced in real life: a paved perch miles above a valley shrouded in clouds.



I got off the bike. I looked over at the narrow trail that I'd investigated before, leading down. Down into the clouds. Down to the "real world."


A woman wearing a simple, figure-flattering dress stood at the trail head. A dark-haired beauty I’d met on my travels.


Her ten-year-old daughter stood next to her – a girl I'd heard about but never seen. She was looking down the path, tugging her mother’s hand, anxious to go.


The woman turned to me and smiled; a warm, loving smile I haven't seen for years. It reminded me of... someone? Not exactly. It reminded me of a feeling I experienced when I had my own people. A family that depended on me.


The woman's eyes and body language beckoned me to follow her and her child down the path. Down into the valley. Down to what I can only call "normal" life. A life I left behind. Twice? No. More. Many more.


I wanted to go with them. I needed to go. But I couldn't. I could only watch mother and child walk into the trees and disappear.


And then I woke up.


The dream forced me to ask myself why I'd left Austin to go on a solitary journey to I know not where. Was I running from something or towards something?



I can't answer that question. Not yet. Maybe never. All I know if that I'm eighteen days in and starting to understand what it means to be a Wandering Jew.


Like my father. A man who lost his family, country, friends, career aspirations, everything in the Holocaust.


When Peter Farago started wandering, he was barely in the 20’s. His entire life lay ahead of him. I'm about to hit 65. All but a small percentage of my life is behind me.


Don't get me wrong: I'm not haunted by regret. I've always followed my father's advice: do your best and see what happens.


My best has been good enough. I was a successful broadcaster, copywriter, hypnotist, blogger, sales trainer and reserve police officer. Not including all the shit jobs I did to make money in and out of college.


The problem – if that's the right word – is that I hear the same repetitive refrain echoing in my mind as Saul Bellow's main character in The Rain King.


Eugene Henderson is a troubled middle-aged man. Despite his riches, high social status, and physical prowess, he feels restless and unfulfilled, and harbors a spiritual void that manifests itself as an inner voice crying out "I want, I want, I want." Hoping to discover what the voice wants, Henderson goes to Africa. – wikipedia

I've been to Africa. And Antarctica. And other places far from home.


Home? Now there’s an alien concept. One I've tried and failed to realize throughout my life. Running away from and running towards it.


It's not that I was unhappy with the careers, places and people that informed my existence. They just weren't enough.


Truth be told, I've got a permanent case of existential angst. I’m bedeviled by two questions. Where is my place? What is my point?


I know the traditional answer. At the end of the day, the only true meaning of life is the people you’ve loved and the people who’ve loved you.


I’ve loved and been loved. I was married twice. Unions that produced three loving daughters. I’ve also had numerous lovers and long-term relationships. And yet... I want. I want. I want.



Thinking about the dream drive down the Parkway, it occurred to me that my life is an endless series of curves. Well, not endless. But often friendless.


Negotiating life's curves requires the same set of skills as motorcycling around corners: finding the right pace, the right amount of acceleration and braking, and self control.


Most of all, you have to want to conquer the curves. Wrong word. You have to want to experience them.


No little feat. Curvy roads don't find you. You have to find them.


You have to leave the arrow-straight highways to others, and actively seek the bendy bits. And no matter how many you find, you're never finished. Until you are.



I’m not sure why I ride alone. Most long-distance motorcyclists travel in groups. Some wouldn't think of traveling without a loved one riding pillion.


On those parts of my journey when I'm miles from anywhere, I understand this desire for two-wheeled camaraderie. Motorcycling is an inherently dangerous business; there’s safety in numbers.


I don't feel their need for communion, or external safety. Except when I do. Not when I’m motorcycling. When I’m tapping these keys. This is my safe space. I don’t feel alone, or lonely, when I write.


Aside from sex, writing is the closest I come to taking life's curves with others. A realization that came to me late in life.


And so I'm sitting at Havana Phil's Cigar Company lounge in Greensboro, North Carolina, listening to a LOUD group of friends schmoozing about sports, work, real estate and women, as if they've known each other all their life.


Like the dream mother and child, they're below the clouds, doing their thing, together.


I'm apart, but not "above" them. I'm in my own little world. With you. With Fritz parked outside, calling to me. “You want. You want. You want to go.”


He’s right. I do.


If this Wandering Jew never finds a home, at least he’ll be able to say, he never stops looking.


Click here for Wandering Jew exclusive pics and video on X

101 views11 comments

11件のコメント


Chris Parnin
Chris Parnin
6月20日

Lately I've been drawn to "the desert" in the religious, biblical sense; a place where isolation and discomfort bring about focus and clarity that can't be experienced in the daily grind. I'm not at a stage in my life where the literal desert is an option, and the meditations that were supposed to bring you into the spiritual desert were good, but fell short of the real thing. My point is that I craved the desert, and still do, and maybe that's the "I need" that keeps tugging at you too. You need the adversity of the open road, solo. It's the only place that you can actually learn what you're made of.

いいね!
robertfarago1
6月20日
返信先

I couldn't have said it better myself. Although I've tried! And will continue to do so. Right now, the mountains are calling and I must go. Check out's in 20 minutes.

いいね!

Kristin Thompson
Kristin Thompson
6月19日

This is beautifully transparent. Being one that benefited from your journey by meeting you yesterday I thank you. It is the human condition to have a space within us that creates a wanting or drive for fulfillment. To recognize this is on a whole other level of depth, which you are reflecting on. This journey hopefully will help you learn more about yourself. At the end of the day know that you are worthy of a place to call home and to be loved by your people. Kristin

いいね!
robertfarago1
6月20日
返信先

Maybe at the end of the day I will have that knowledge. Now, not so much. OK, not at all.


"Peace is a journey of a thousand miles but it must be taken one step at a time." A quote from Lyndon Johnson, no less. Go figure.

いいね!

ゲスト
6月19日

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in moment to moment experiences and decisions we temporarily forget the original goal. It's not about the destination. It's about The Journey.

いいね!
robertfarago1
6月20日
返信先

I'm just a city boy. Born and raised in South Detroit. Uh, Providence, Rhode Island. Anyway, gotcha! Don't stop believin'. Hold on to that feeling!

いいね!

ゲスト
6月19日

Your comments bring to mind the idea put forth by Carl Jung, wherein each person carries a racial memory of his people. This is why you feel déjà vu in certain places, because your family, your ancestors, one of your family was at that place at one time. I felt this when I got off the airplane in England for the first time. I had a strange feeling that I had been there before, many times. How does this relate to you? Perhaps you’re wandering goes way back, back to your ancestors, your family, your soul search. Anyways, this is just some stuff that came to me. Good luck on your journey.

いいね!

ゲスト
6月19日

Beautiful post. We miss you here in Austin.

いいね!
robertfarago1
6月19日
返信先

Also note: I edited this post pretty heavily last night and just now, by the side of the road (see video on X). It’s much better.

いいね!
bottom of page