Sometimes when I finish work I feel a bit…out of sorts, especially after a long night shift. As a single, middle-aged person in a small Irish dormitory town I find I am often marginalised, slotted into married friends schedules (usually between 11am and 12 on a Thursday for some bizarre reason), talked to like I am child because I have “no stress” in my life (Hah!) or, mostly, left alone.
Work often exacerbates this feeling because every last damn person I work with is married with children. Don’t get me wrong, though they are good people(mostly 🙂 ) I don’t really want to be them but its hard not to feel isolated, apart from the pack sometimes and so, when I stumbled across Robert Frosts poem again today, I felt much better.
Of course it’s a popular poem and I am familiar with it but like all things familiar it is easy to take it for granted. How wonderful when life shines new light on something which has become dull, adding a sparkle and depth to old knowledge, travelling like a shaft of sunlight across a rainy field.
The picture (To Safety) is one of mine from the ’90s done in chalk pastel on A2 paper. It was a response to a brief but intense relationship and the knowledge that we would eventually take our own, separate paths.
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.