Direction allows for deviation
Some art just has a way of staying with you and this is true of Robert Frost's well known poem for which the photo above represents. I first heard it in and English class in school, I have no idea what we said about it or what we were supposed to be working on, but it invoked some deep feeling in me that I've never forgotten.
This is the second blog in the doublethink mini-series and probably the last for now, the first can be read here (boundaries mean freedom). Of course, they're not really dichotomous ideations in the true 1984 sense, the premise makes perfect sense, but the title suggests a natural contradiction.
The common misconception about Frost's poem is that this is story of a winner choosing to travel their own path. Frost expresses in the poem how the roads the traveller was choosing between each "as just as fair" and what I think he's really trying to tell us (or whoever he's written the poem for) is that often, it doesn't matter entirely which road we choose to travel down.
We can focus on a regret of not taking the other road if we choose to, or we can seek out passion, joy and fulfilment down the path we're on, if we can lift our heads up, look around and embrace all that is around us.
What matters is making a decision, establishing the right direction of travel, taking the forks in the road in our stride and not pausing too long to deliberate over decisions that may prove insignificant with the march of time.
This of course begins by taking the time to stop and reflect on the direction we want to travel in. Without making time for this reflection, we risk ambling aimlessly through life or getting pulled in too many different directions.
By defining the general direction we want to travel in, we can take the right path more often with less deliberation, and because of this, we have the freedom to deviate.
We can roam off the beaten track when we want to. We can smell the in the flowers and run in the fields that surround our path. Whether these flowers and fields are holidays, side projects, hobbies or general fascinations. By knowing where we're heading we don't sweat the small stuff.
Enjoy the little moments,
Embrace the happy distractions,
Live in the moment,
All in the knowledge that we're moving in the right direction.
The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference."