Friday, August 1, 2014

Ineffable: The Road Not Taken (An Anniversary Reflection)

“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.”
            - Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken

So what is it about fire pits, cigars and a glass of vodka on cool summer nights that lead to discourse on roads not taken, coincidence and time?

His first mate said, “Not everyone has had the life changing event that fueled a metanoia, a re-evaluation of life’s purpose and conjuring a deeper appreciation of the journey.”

He thought privately, “Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
(CABG) changes everything.

The Florence Nightingaled one counseled, “… Maybe there was a reason your business unraveled. Maybe if you continued down the path you were on the heart would have failed. Maybe there is a greater hand at work with different plans.”

Finally joining the conversation the pilgrim chimed in, “Maybe it was that accidental invitation twenty four years ago to contemplate on the patch of holy ground on the bluffs over the big muddy, just a mere 930 miles from home, is where a baptismal immersion onto the grace-filled Odyssey commenced? Storms were brewing in the distance; this vessel was being prepared for an unknown sea. Then just as mysteriously a second invitation surfaced to another sacred safe harbor where spiritual guides would help this pilgrim navigate the oceans of mercy. What would have happened to this breaking heart if this pilgrim had not been lowered into the presence of redemption and healing by his new companions?”

He postulated further “So many incidents and connections altered directions and plans. A faithless private troubled associate pleaded me to maintain courage and introduced me to the wizard of St. Mary’s where my heart was repaired and allowed me to continue. It seems as there is an abundance of “what if’s” and “there but the grace of God go I” contemplations. It is so tempting and easy sometimes to get lost in a wilderness of worry, isn’t it? But, there is something ineffable about the letting go and being present. ”

“So, here we sit in a new safe harbor that was never part of the plan. A place we passed a thousand times but maybe we were not ready or maybe it wasn’t ready for us. Then when we thought we were ready a storm rose and suddenly we unexpectedly found ourselves in exile, a state of limbo. Maybe we weren’t really ready? Maybe there was something more at stake.”

The first one chimed in convincingly that “ Your exile’s purpose was to keep me company during me recent rough seas at work. Having you staying with us helped me.”

The Pilgrim added “Maybe the time in limbo was a sacred gift where we would be eased into the transition into the next chapter? Who would have dreamed that after all the twist and turns we would end up this side of paradise?”

 “Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right”
       - Here Comes The Sun, George Harrison

  Here Comes the sun ( Smart phone click on link)

“Tonight this fool's halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I'm comin' home,
These are better days…”
           - Better Days, Bruce Springsteen

Better Days (Smart Phone click on link)

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.” Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

CABG August 4,2008


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