the tao of the crossroads

Icelandic road
Image by Tom Olliver via Flickr

In a recent carryon tuesday post, I wrote of the tao of the crossroads, and how it reminded me of Robert Frost’s two roads diverging in a yellow wood. A wise woman suggested that I take the well-worn path, the safe one with streetlights and easy to read guideposts. But, there is a part of me that looks down the overgrowth path and thinks of fairy lights, dragonfly wings, whimsy and serendipity and feels called that way.

The road with the most underbrush and brambles is the one to take to lose past and present hurts, rejections and the needy little girl who follows me around. The key would be to somehow mark the way back to the crossroad in such a manner that they couldn’t follow me out; I could leave them there in the wilderness, and thus perhaps develop a new me.

I have taken steps down a path about the darkness and ugliness of mental illness and how it makes you feel alone, an outsider and very sad. But those steps only caused turmoil, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings. I’d love to make things better again, back to normal, back to the way things were but I don’t know how to do that so I can’t walk that road any more. I owe many people responses to encouraging and caring emails and comments – I’m sorry I haven’t responded. Sometimes it’s hard to blog through the tears, and tear drops on a keyboard is a great way to fry it (a method not recommended unless you need a new keyboard.)

I have some fairy wands and pixie dust to distribute to those who have been so encouraging and have helped get me through the last two years. This is a path to the post office I hope to make soon. Some folks I don’t have an email/snail mail address for, but part of this path is to try and gather that information.

I am waiting for the call that there is room on the path to inpatient mental health care. Even though I’m taking my meds, there still are crisis days; when I called the mental health crisis counselor at a facility approved of by my health insurance on a very bad day this week, I was told there were no beds available and to call back in several days to see if there had been a discharge. So, I stand at the beginning of that road, waiting for the light to change from red to green.

There is the road that’s the dead end – my heart really isn’t into blogging right now, but I know I need to write for therapeutic reasons. Perhaps I should spin in a circle until I get dizzy and take the first woozy steps on some new journey. As the old adage goes: the journey of a thousand miles stands with one step. And I do need to make a step in some direction.

I have a wonderful idea for a creative, imaginative project that would involve folks with chronic illness and chronic pain. But I need to become more stable and grounded before I take myself, let alone anyone else, down that path.

So, I still stand at the crossroads, thinking of potential paths; well-worn or overgrown; roads with stoplights and few guideposts; woozy steps into the unknown. For me, that is the tao of standing at the crossroads.

Like my simple daily mantras – small sayings to keep me grounded during my crisis like do the laundry; don’t cry until 4 pm; think only of good things; remember the best; take your meds; pick up your medication; let go. I know mantras are intended to help one focus while meditating. I use them to just try to focus. Maybe my next mantra should be take a step away from the crossroads – head down the unknown path and see where it leads me.

A magnet I just bought might help: “Don’t Quit. There is no telling how FAR you will have to run while CHASING your DREAMS.” Time to find the path that leads to purpose, making a difference, and dreams. Close my eyes, and take that first step.