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The Road Less Travelled….

The Road Less Travelled…..

“Once suffering is completely accepted, it ceases in a sense to be suffering” M. Scott Peck

The link provides a short summary of Peck’s wonderful work in “The Road Less Traveled.” His thinking ranks with James Hillman in examining spiritual growth as an essential aspect of living. Living is the continuous unfolding of character, who we are, and it is not predictable hence a title similar to Robert Frost’s The Road not Taken.

Life is not easy, although at times it can be. It is always about accepting responsibility for decisions we make as adults. Taking time and pausing at the junctions of decisions requires discipline and mindfulness that many struggle to find in a busy world. In those moments, when we pause, listen closely to our spirit, we build new disciplines that help us overcome the busyness to some extent. It is not perfect, but it is in imperfections we travel the road less traveled.

The Courage to Be New

Robert Frost wrote this interesting poem. It is unclear what the underlying topic was, but it was possibly written after one of the World Wars.It seems with the passing of Pete Seeger thinking about violence and its meaning, if there is any, is appropriate. There isn’t reason, but it seems human nature to overlook the violence beginning in daily life.

The courage to be new is real in many settings. It is hard to change practices and become someone new, although what human being is about, always transforming. We become caught in a vice of busyness that doesn’t let us see past routines or see into them for that matter. Children likely see past much better and then, as they grow up, they are stymied. The courage to stop violence begins with the person, the self. When I look in, I find spaces where light shines in and helps me walk the path with a little more courage.

I hear the world reciting
The mistakes of ancient men,
The brutality and fighting
They will never have again.

Heartbroken and disabled
In body and in mind
They renew talk of the fabled
Federation of Mankind.

But they’re blessed with the acumen
To suspect the human trait
Was not the basest human
That made them militate.

They will tell you more as soon as
You tell them what to do
With their ever breaking newness
And their courage to be new.

A Time to Talk

Robert Frost’s poem foreshadowed a need to make real human contact. There are times we need to move beyond the virtual realities, set the hoe down, and engage in those friendly visits. Human contact in the form of sound, touch, smell, and visuals is a human need that cannot be overlooked. It is a sensual place and space to be. It touches our spirit and makes us whole.

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

My November Guest

Winter approaches. Today, was a dreary day and the trees are becoming littered on the ground as their leaves fall. Yet, as Robert Frost pointed out, there is something lovely in the barrenness of November days. This reminds me that, as fall turns to winter, of a need for the seasonal shifts that bring new life into the world. It is part of the healing process nature provides.

My Sorrow, when she’s there with me,

Thinks these dark days of autumn rain

Are beautiful as days can be;

She loves the bare, the withered tree;

She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay,

She talks and I am fain to list;

She’s glad the birds have gone way.

She’s glad her simple worsted gray

Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,

The faded earth, the heavy sky,

The beauties she so truly sees,

She thinks I have no eye for these,

And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday, I learned to know

The love of bare November days

Before the coming of the snow,

But it were vain to tell her so,

And they are better for her praise.

The Road Not Taken

Several asked asked  several times what I would do after the end of the school year. There is no set plan, but we spent a fair amount of time on the weekend beginning a website and some design of a logo for my next adventure. This is an opportunity to continue with several loves: learning, writing, and try make a difference, albeit a small one in the world. There is no certainty of where it takes us. Unlike the bureaucracies I tangled with my entire adult life, this is an opportunity to, as Robert Frost said, “take the road less traveled.” Where I go will not be planned out, but will be an opportunity to make a mark on the trail that others might find and follow.

I get to do this with Kathy. She is much sharper than I am when it comes to the details of a website, planning a logo, and setting the direction the first steps need to take. I get to combine a number of things I love deeply in this new adventure.

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, as 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 black.
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.
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