Friday, January 17, 2014

On and On


"The road goes ever on and on."
~ J.R.R. Tolkein

"It's your road and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you."

Those are the quotes for today's bell work.  I asked my students to describe the road they are currently traveling--literally and figuratively.  Who is going with you?  Where are you going?  Where do you wish you were going?  Why?  I'll be interested to see their responses.
During the school year, I'm on a road kind of like many here in Arizona--a straight shot getting you fairly easily from one spot to the others.  When I first moved here, a friend I had known in Boston (a city not known for it's straight, logical roads) sat down with me and described the road system here and said "you'll love driving here.  It's so logical.  You'll always know where you are and where you're going."  Wrong!  I have never been more lost and confused within a mile or so from my house or work than in this state!  You can be driving along on a road and suddenly you will dead end into a neighborhood.  So, logically you'd think you could go left (or right) and then right (or left) and then left (or right) again and find yourself back on your original road.  But no.  You can't get around the neighborhood so easily.  Instead, you'll find yourself lost in a labyrynth of twists and turns that have you going in the complete opposite direction from where you started.  Drives.  Me.  Crazy.

Then there are the mountain roads--north and south of where I live.  I'm not very good at driving on roads I don't know and that do not give me a fair amount of distance views.  Roads that have a lot of twists and turns are slow roads for me because I don't want to miss a curve and lose control.  The first time I drove north to Sedona and beyond took quite a bit longer than I drive it now.  And I didn't offer once to drive the hairpin turns of the White Mountains on our road trip East this summer.  Once I know a road, though, I travel it easier.  And faster.

So much for the literal road I'm on.  Figuratively, I start my day on a winding road that I have no idea where or how it will end.  For some reason, that doesn't unnerve me the way the actual unknown road does.  Perhaps because I've gone into this unknown so many times before.  Coming to Arizona was one such big adventure. But every day has its own journey with its myriad opportunities to wonder about the day's mile posts.  But that's a whole other story.  I'll have to leave that for another
day.

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