That Robert Frost knew his business. That is one pretty poem, and it’s hard to forget. I am a lifetime out of high school, and I still remember it chapter and verse. Of course, I am older and wiser now, and embarrassed at how badly I misinterpreted Frost’s words. I quoted this thing in my high school year book (and I bet a good many of you did too).
I was determined to take that road less taken, ignoring those pivotal words “Though as for that the passing there had worn them about the same“.
A “different” drummer pounded in my head. I was going to stand out, be different, and there I was a rebel without a clue. I saw myself a best-selling writer by 21, the first girl to play football in the English Premiere League, and a good many other fantastical musings. My life went a different way despite that imaginary fork in the road. I imagine most end up in bear’s belly taking a road not taken in a forest.
As this 4th week of 2016, the end’s very beginning, reminded me, there was never that neat, peaceful little fork in the road in that somber forest. It’s a bloody labyrinth and here there be monsters and possibly a worm. If you are very lucky that is.
The little benign worm in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth means no harm. He helpfully tries to guide you away from the goblin’s castle which is precisely where you must go if you are to retrieve that most precious to you. I suppose I listened to the worm when I first became entangled in the labyrinth that is my life. I never made it to the goblin’s castle.
Instead, I found myself in something that more resembles Pan’s Labyrinth than it did the lovely, Jim Henson, Muppet maze. NOTE: If you have never seen Guillermo del Toro’s film, Pan’s Labyrinth, do yourself a favor. It is frightening, beautiful, sad, glorious, and a true piece of art in film.
I fought against the labyrinth of my life for years, never stopping to gape at the wondrous beauty nor recoil from the horror of it, just wandered trying to get back to that lovely fork in the road. Those crossroads that never offered any choice at all because it was never this or that. Life is a million decisions and encounters, and twists and turns, words and deeds, nuances too subtle for the naked senses of man to perceive. It is truly a labyrinth. Now, I embrace the unsolvable maze that is life, curious as to what lay around each bend and turn. I turn back at the dead ends, and sometimes sit entrenched in the beauty despite the horror. This week there was a dead end, overgrown, uncared for, and so I turned around. There was another way to go.