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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Road Not Traveled

Years ago, a job-search company, I think it was Monster.com, did a series of ads using Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". A group of actors, representing people of all ages and walks of life, recited the immortal poem, which can be taken, really, in any way one wishes; we are all travelers in this hard life. Of course, as in "Stopping By the Woods On a Snowy Evening", the last stanza always stuck in my mind. (I'm like that with a lot of poetry. When I had to memorize "The Mountain and the Squirrel" for my speech therapist, the amusing and sarcastic remainder (I paraphrase here) "Doubtless you make a very lovely squirrel track, but, while I cannot carry trees on my back, neither can you crack a nut" was what struck with me, as well as the Word Of The Day, "prig". For those of you are by now curious, here goes... although it messes up the meaning I'm trying to express here:
The mountain and the squirrel had a quarrel
And the former called the latter, "little prig"
Bun replied, "You are doubtless very big,
 but all sorts of things and weather must be taken in together,
 to make up a year and a sphere,
and I think it no disgrace to occupy my place
If I'm not  so large as you,You are not so small as I,And not half so spry:
I'll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ;
 all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

And back to Mr. Frost:

Mr. Frost shows us a beautiful, peaceful place, two little roads in a forest. One with the scuffing and bareness of foot traffic, one somewhat isolated. Where does the road less traveled go? At times, I see the wide road, the one everyone walks, leading to darkness, pain, sadness, hustle and bustle. But where does the road less traveled go? Sunsets and white sands? Peace? A kingdom by the sea? I've been attempting to walk it, perhaps a few stones that trip you up, or dangers to face...at the end... perhaps, there's a sort of Eldorado? I guess I'll find out. 
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both,
And be one traveler
long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
Then took the other, just as fair
and having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden back
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet, knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I- I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.

What is... where is YOUR road less traveled? Will you take it, or follow the beaten path?

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