Saturday, November 21, 2009


It comes without warning. The thought can slide through your mind so quickly that if you aren't paying attention you might miss it. It leaves no mark or reminder that it was there and you find yourself wondering if it was real.

Sometimes life takes strange turns that force strategic maneuvering and a reassessment of your intended direction, a need to listen carefully for clues, for hints, for that gut feeling you have always been able to trust,  for revelation.

Sometimes you make a choice based on a fear that you will never have the opportunity to revisit that moment of reality again and you want to hold onto it; sometimes you make a choice based on a fear that you will have the opportunity to repeat or revisit or rekindle something, and you are afraid to take that chance again. It's a choice of heading in the right direction that might turn your life around, or heading in an exactly opposite direction and just repeating things you would rather forget.

Revelation comes in handy at these forks in the road - choosing to go one way because you want to experience a place or person or emotion again, or choosing to go the other way because you DON'T want to repeat that experience again, or anything similar to it.

But revelation takes preparation. You have to spend time mulling things over, sorting through your thoughts, defining your choices. Then, you have to listen. And finally, you have to pay attention, because just listening isn't enough. Jumping to conclusions, making knee-jerk decisions and hasty judgments does not allow time for this critical time of contemplation, clarification and then direction.

And what comes next? The character-defining moment. Which fork do you take? Which direction do you follow, your own instant gratification based choice, a new and untested path in another direction, or the direction pointed out in that fleeting moment?

Character can be built over a lifetime and lost in a moment. We need to listen carefully and choose well.

As for me, I am still studying the road map. In silence. So I can listen.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles "A Fork in the Road"

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