Thursday, January 26, 2012

What ever gets you through the night

As we settle into the election process for the most powerful person in the world (maybe) I just can't get myself to feel much except embarrassment.  Really?  This is the best we can do?  A bunch of used tissues that know how to put down the competition and do it readily with lots of money that comes from. . . .where do you reckon? 

But the headline says Actress stuns in plunging lace gown!

You don't really still believe in a democracy sort of thing where one person gets one vote and those elected actually care about individuals?  I mean, you actually know that whole idea is a unicorn, right?  Pay no attention to those corporations behind the curtain.  It's so much easier that way.

Who will continue on American Idol?

My spring flowers are blooming.  It's January.  I'm so relieved to remember that global warming is just a bit of liberal propaganda!  Whew!  And really, as far as I know there is no such thing as a Polar Bear anyway. And even if they do exist, what have they done for me lately?

New evidence proves Big Foot is in charge of Area 51!

The sheriff of a neighboring county has publicly encouraged women to get concealed weapons permits and stay armed.  A customer in a waffle house saw a young man demanding cash from the cashier.  The customer pulled his weapon and shot the young man dead.  No charges were filed, but the customer got his breakfast for free.

Photograph shows Dalai Lama eating cheese burger!

In the past year there was legislation proposed in at least one state to outlaw fast food restaurants from giving toys away in kids' meals because it encouraged childhood obesity.  No one seemed to realize that children seldom drive themselves to the drive thru.  More importantly, what we teach in school cafeterias is vastly different from what we teach in nutrition and health classes.  But dang, vegetables are expensive, aren't they?  I mean, I heard they were. 

The one cosmetic surgery you can't afford to go without!

The free clinic isn't taking new patients.  They are over-burdened and certainly underfunded.   But the emergency room down the street is taking the overflow. Oh, sure, it's the most expensive health care in the Universe, but so what?   Wait. . . . who ends up paying for that in the end? We don't have a broken health care system, but those without insurance have no health care system at all.

Eight herbs that can help you live to 100!

How much do you reckon we spend on law enforcement to make sure no one smokes cannabis, a plant that's been considered medicinal for millennia?  Can't be that much, right?  Besides, I heard it leads to hard drug use.  Why can't those people just have a martini like normal people?

It's a miracle! Picture of Jesus found in stain on mental hospital floor

I don't pretend that supporting a big fancy building that sits empty most of the week makes me a better person or that it helps the community one iota.  But it might help me keep my job.  Let's just come out with it, it's got more to do with Benjamin than Jesus.

But hey, if you want to pretend that money doesn't buy elections, that anyone with a will to succeed in America can do so, that Jesus will save you from obesity, or that the tooth fairie is going to make your next mortgage payment; you just go right ahead.   It's all right.  It's all right.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Frosty Roads

It was in the seventh grade that I first read The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.  At first read it was the image of being in leafy woods, alone with Nature, that drew me closer.  I could smell the leaves, yellow and brown and I drew a still closer.  The air was crisp and once I reached down to feel the softness of the grass I couldn't help myself .  I tumbled headlong into that poem and have never really left it.        

A bit older than when I first fell into the poem, but certainly not wise, I truly believed there was one best road for me and if I looked carefully enough I would see which one it was.  They all looked good to me then.  And although I couldn't see what lay beyond the bend in the road, there was no reason to believe that it would be anything less perfect than what I could see from that painless vantage. 

And so we, my friends and I, like woodland faeries scattered with the breeze.  Some landed well. They found destinations. But I wasn't ready for a destination, and I thought that I could always find my way back to where the roads split and make a different choice.  It couldn't be that serious.  It was only beautiful, timeless, carefree routes through a lovely wood. I thought to know all the roads.  My plan was to do it all.  Simple.  Spring, summer, autumn days stretched out endlessly with not a sign of winter.

And down the road I went and found so many turns.  A tree fallen across the path.  A bridge washed out, but never mind.  I trekked to the nearest, clearest turn, sometimes cross-country.  Sometimes through moss, sometimes though briers.  I began to understand that way leads on to way and I doubted that I would ever go back.
II found a fellow traveler, and tired of choosing by myself, followed him for a while.   Sometimes the road was rocky and the grass overgrazed and brown and I longed for those first two roads, both beautiful and inviting.  Only two. So easy.  I thought about the title.  It is not The Road Less Travelled.  It is The Road Not Taken.  

And so I tell my story with a sigh.  Did the poem mean a sign of regret?  Of joy?  Of frustration? If we quickly turn to see where we've been the setting sun temporarily blinds us and we see only that - the setting sun.

I chose.  We all chose.  We chose our roads without seriousness or guilt, but with every consequence.  And I continue to choose, refusing the illusion of a destination. And every time I choose it makes all the difference.

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
For 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!
Though 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 travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.