Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Twin Paths

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

“The Road Not Taken” – Robert Frost

Malvern Skies

My name is Felicia – Latin for “happiness”.

Although my mother claims that I literally slid from the birth canal with a smile on my face (do spare me the lecture on “gas” being the source of the newborn smile), that was not the genesis of my name. My father liked the actress Felicia Farr, and (after vetoing my Mother’s choice of Melody – Melody Rivers? Sounds like a cowboy movie!) that was that.

Even so, I am quite happy as a matter of habit, or construction, or some such. Even on the rare occasions when I am sad, maudlin, discouraged, it does not take much to lift my mood (think: clouds, running from the sun on a high-blown wind). My blues muscle is weak and underdeveloped (42 muscles for a frown; 7 muscles to make a smile!). Yeah.

Even so.

Even so, like everyone else, there are always two roads that lie before me. One is sunlit, leading over a hill that rises into the bright blue sky. The other is hemmed in by brambles on either side. No brainer, right? Who would slog through a swamp, prickers pulling at the clothes, bee-stung, hungry, tired, and in need of a Porta-potty when the alternative is to run in the sunlight, roll in the warm green grass, commune with the birds, build castles in the air, and drink wine in the cool, blue shade of a grape arbor?

Even so.

Maybe there’s a lesson amid the brambles. Maybe there’s some needed truth in the shadows. Maybe the blackbirds and beetles and gnarly crowded oaks have something to whisper in my ear. I peer down that brambled path.

Maybe the sunlight conceals a trap. Of stunted growth, of opportunities lost, of a particular breed of boredom that slowly cements the soul. All this bright light expected; all this daily complacency; all this blatant normalcy. Is it as nourishing as it was when I was a child? Is the dance rote? Is the song a wheel-rut too well-worn? Does the flurry in my belly at the very sight of the bramble, rambled path constitute a neon sign in the shape of a finger pointing in my face, reading:
“Hey You! Get the off the sweet path!”

Or, maybe I’m just itching for trouble.

Even so.


Ishtar said...

If it weren't for the "even so" Fe, you wouldn't be as complex and exiting as you are! I think you more often than not choose the brambled road because you want to discover things as they really are. Your cheerfulness and enthusiasm is what keeps your head well above water surface!

That said, my mother couldn't decide between Esther or Olga, her two favourite names. I'm glad my father could (decide between the two)! Olga Garvi? Ouch. Esther (the name) - another thing to be grateful for! You are right about Melody Rivers. Fe is great!

rebecca said...

Miss Felicia,

You are such a poetic writer. This post is beautiful. And, I'm with you Sister Fe, the brambled path is always the best. How else would you discover your capabilities/abilities? How else would you become grateful of the blessings already had? To live a complacent (translation: boring) life, is to not live at all. Your choice does not shock me. It is the choice I would think you - knowing you - would take. You like challenges, you like to learn and explore, you question, you dream big. And, you, dear heart, your courage, your strength, your clarity of mind and intuitive intelligence speaks to my soul.

The road not taken....and you took the one less traveled, the one that made all the difference. Good for you. Well done. And for me? This is the poem that speaks to my soul again and again....

CoyoteFe said...


I'm with your Dad. Esther is a fine name and suits you (strength and joy)! Sometimes, I try to choose the sunlit path, and end up in the brambles. And some times, I steer for teh brambles, and end up sitting in the sun. On a hill. Contemplating my navel. Thinking I need to get a grip. Ha!


Must point out that sometimes I just PEER in the brambles, wondering if I should step in. Wondering why I'm attracted to the brambles when there's a nice sunny swathe RIGHT THERE. Remembering the LAST time I was in the brambles and did not find my way out for ... days, weeks, YEARS. But there's this cool electric bird singing a sweet song, and it's only a small bramble ...
I never knew Frost was so cool.

fellow traveler said...

Even so, it's what "may be" that draws us in ... thank you for the reminder.

CoyoteFe said...

Greetings, Pat!

... And, when "what may be" is a tad overwhelming, we're really off to the races ...

fellow traveler said...

You betcha!!

You are a wise woman. I enjoy and appreciate your willingness to share your wisdom with us.