To Be . . .

. . . or not to be. 

Should I stay or should I go? 

These two roads diverging in the woods . . . which one should I take? 

It often seems that life is just a series of choices and their consequences.  In retrospect, a choice can seem destined and profound, the initiating event of what came next.  Or perhaps it is married to regret and remorse.  Ideally, whether seen in the rearview mirror as positive bellwethers of future good or as negative gatekeepers to coming pain, our choices set the stage for everything else to come. 

Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” about those roads diverging in the woods, is often used to demonstrate the beauty of not following the crowd.  The final lines of the poem say, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”   But, these are perhaps the most misinterpreted lines in all of American poetry.  We think they’re saying “Ah, what a glorious rebel I have been, and it paid off.” 

But, you see, the two roads described aren’t that different from each other.  The poem says “the passing there had worn them really about the same” and that the roads “both that morning equally lay.” Frost’s final stanza starts “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence,” and that “with a sigh” is important. He’s actually writing about our tendency to romanticize the past, to look back at younger selves as courageous and daring rather than just . . . human, making human choices, and having no more idea than anybody else how it might all turn out. 

The rightness or wrongness, goodness or badness of our choices is often determined by the way we move through the results of our choice rather than the choice itself. 

But while we’re still on the front side of the choice, still standing at the fork in the road, is there any way to get a sense of direction? 

I was once faced with a big decision and unclear how to make it. My sister gave me some good advice.  She said, “Get off by yourself where you won’t be interrupted. Spend a few moments in meditation. Quiet your mind. When you feel completely settled within yourself, take your mind to the place where you have already decided on option A, and see how you feel.  Then clear your mind again and take it to the place where you have already decided on option B, and see how you feel.” 

So, I did it.  I followed her advice.  And you know what? I knew exactly what to do. My intuition, my inner guidance, my emotional self did not let me down. It sent me a clear message. 

Ultimately, though, whichever choice I made was mine. My choices are a primary way in which I co-create my life.  Should I stay or should I go? No one can tell me . . . but me. And by “me,” I mean the higher version of me that lives in the quiet places. 


Most lessons I have to 
learn more than once.
When they first come,
I see the truth.
I get it.  

And then I 

            Judgment of others 
            is a mirror 
            for my own inadequacies.

            Right action is that
            which is not attached 
            to the outcome.

            Insanity is performing 
            the same behavior and 
            expecting a different result. 

I know these things, 
but I forget because 
the world gets busy, 
the noise gets louder, 
and the distractions win. 
I forget because I’m human, 
and humans forget. 

            Do unto others 
            as you would have others 
            do unto you.  

            Fear and anger 
            cannot grow in a 
            garden of gratitude.


I forget so I can 
There is no joy 
in mowing a short lawn
or vacuuming a clean rug 
or washing a spotless dish. 
The satisfaction of the scythe
is in the tall grass.  

            Nothing exists 
            other than 
            right now. 

            The opposite of love is not 
            hate; the opposite of love 
            is fear.

            The path to awakening 
            leads through the heart, 
            not the head. 

Faith is knowing that
what we learned once
is never lost, 
and it will return
when we need it. 

            These three remain: 
            faith, hope, and love, 
            and the greatest is love.

            What we put out 
            comes back to us

            Love is 
            all you

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

The Middle Age

I have a predilection for melancholy,
a generous bent toward nostalgia,
and I surrender completely to 
isolated flashes of memory 
in the gloaming. 

I’ve spent hours in meditation,
bending toward the present,
then settling into a place
of peaceful nothingness
in the moment.

I’ve loved so many ways,
the love of blood, and the
love of heart, and the love
of so much more and 
so much less.

I’ve aged into a life I like,
a daily rhythm that fits
a soul like mine, that craves 
both experience and time 
to write it.

I am middle-aged, no longer
a tree climber or a speed demon,
no longer willing to play fast
and loose with your heart
or mine.  

I have learned the lessons of
my time, and I have become
less of what I wanted and 
more of what I needed, 
and I’m happy.

But sometimes in the half-light
of dusk (one can’t meditate
every moment) I think of 
days long gone, and I 
remember you.  

© 2020 Deb Moore,  All Rights Reserved