From the inception of Owen's Odyssey, I had obsessed with mantras from "Hamilton", such as "I'm not throwin' away my shot!" and my desires to make a difference that might leave the world a little less terrible.
On my second day on the trail, I met a wonderful person named Reta, from Toronto. She had an awesome story, which included a life long desire to hike the trail but a cubicle 9-5 left her significantly out of shape for such an endeavor. Fortunately, she was able to figure how to retire early and lost over 60lbs before starting the trail!! We spent a few hours hiking together and opened up about many topics. The Odyssey was certainly a mainstay of conversation and I shared how theatre has shaped my life, especially the Spring musical of my senior year of high school "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarden" by Robert Fulghum.
You most likely have heard of the book but were unaware that it was a musical. It is not a musical in the traditional sense, but rather short stories strung together that occasionally has a song or underscoring to a scene. The entire show ends with a college course in which the class repeatedly asks, with new emphasis on the next word, "What is the meaning of life?" The professor contemplates the question and retrieves a small mirror from his pocket. He then explains that he grew up on a small island off the coast of Greece during World War II, and that a Nazi motorcycle had crashed near where he would often play. As a small boy, he found the fragments of the broken side mirror and attempted to reassemble them, but could not. So he kept the largest piece and smoothed the edges against a rock. For the entire summer, he devised a game where he challenged himself to use the mirror to reflect sunlight into dark corners and caves, always working to shine the light farther and deeper into the dark and unknown spaces. For the professor, this was the meaning of life: To reflect light into the dark places of this world.
That show shaped me in ways untold.