Like everything else in this world, the term — or definition if you will —of being lost has many different meanings. And I imagine most people’s minds can easily recall a time when they were literally “lost” — like they took a wrong turn while driving (myself, I was terribly lost one morning about eight weeks ago when road construction forced me to take the road less traveled and well, that particular road wasn’t anything at all like the serene landscape Mr. Frost’s poem depicts).
BUT. The kind of lost that seems to surround me lately is less concrete than the kind brought on by the asphalt jungle that surrounds me.
In all truthfulness I think I’ve always been this way — always stuck at a crossroad, always choosing — or not choosing, for that matter. So maybe lost isn’t the right term for me. Because I think I’m more of a searcher … always wondering, always questioning … but sometimes, we — me, you, everyone —can spend too much time searching and we fail to make decisions. There is a passage in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar where she hints at the idea of starving to death while seated at the base of a giant fig tree only because she cannot choose which fig to pluck from above and eat. That entire idea, I find haunting.
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked … I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
And so today — like so many days — I find myself seated comfortably at yet another crossroad. It’s like I’m rummaging around life and all the marvelous options that exist … ‘bout time someone comes along and knocks me off my comfortable chair and down a path. Any path. Because whether I (or you) take the road less traveled, or the one with all the stoplights and honking horns, at least we’ll be moving which is infinitely better than remaining stagnant. This post inspired by The Daily One-word Prompt: Crossroads.