December 16 – Fully Knowing the Road – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
‘If you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ Yogi Berra
Like the koans of Zen monks and the wit of Shakespeare’s jesters, we may never know if the sayings of this baseball legend are utter nonsense or utter wisdom. But the longer we stay with them, the more they reveal.
What this one says to me is not to stall too long at the crossroads of life, not to hesitate our way out of living. We can’t experience everything, and taking one road will always preclude another, but agonizing over which to take can eventually prevent us from knowing any road.
Even when taking one road, keeping the other alive in our mind for too long is the beginning of regret. In fact, giving over to regret is a way to resist our limitations, a way to still take the other road with us. It’s the heart’s way to be stubborn. Ultimately, keeping the other road so actively with us only keeps us from fully knowing the road we have chosen.
We are beautifully limited creatures, capable of great moments of full living, but we can’t have it all or experience it all. We can only, paradoxically, experience all there is by giving ourselves completely and humbly to the small path we are drawn to.