A Fork in the Road

A Fork in the Road

For Mamie, beginnings were just another fork in the road. It was a continuation of the journey she had always been on. It was a turn down the path to the left just because the left had more sun, and so, might be more delicious.  At least that is what she hoped for, deliciousness.

As she walked into the sunlight, she took a deep breath of relaxation, her shoulders dropped, and she felt a security that this choice was right. The soft touch of warmth told her so.  She left behind the constant questioning of her choices and chose the uncertainty of the unknown.

As she stood at the fork, she was not focused on the tree-shaped dark and light shadows that lay on the ground in front of her, or the forget-me-nots in masses of blues on the sides of the path.

Her thoughts were enveloped by an imagined large divide in the earth’s surface. The side where she stood was known, and the other side was unknown, what was yet to be.

The image of crossing the divide blossomed before her. She saw herself upright in her desk chair, with her laptop, in lap, typing her way as she wafted over the divide onto the other side. She could feel her hair fly in the breeze as she was concentrated on finding the right words. There was a sense, or rather a hope, that her molecules were getting reorganized as she drifted into the story that would be her future, leaving her past behind and keeping it only as a resource, an encyclopedia of information when needed.

The future held excitement and fear, just like life as she now knew it. She wondered who she wanted with her on this journey, and who might show up.  She was trying to prepare for something she knew nothing about and held the image of Dorothy, innocently dancing down the yellow brick road with the tin man, the cowardly lion, and the straw man, all looking for healing.

Some days before Mamie was approaching this fork in the road, she became deeply anxious with worry about making the right choice.  Out of deep anxiety came her wisdom, like sun bursting out from behind a cloud, and she finally realized the truth, that she did not know the right path, she could not know. All she knew was that she wanted to talk to Dr. Henry Moon, a cultural anthropologist, her life consultant and her mentor.

For Mamie, Henry was like the character at a carnival, in a booth spewing out fortunes, but he did not spew and did not give out fortunes.  She just liked to think of him this way, exotic with a great beard, donning a turban and having a thick middle eastern accent.  His magic was in offering the simplicity of understanding what was true, not analyzing or weaving stories for the sake of drama. The truth was magic for Mamie.


She texted her Dr. Moon and heard back immediately.  “Yes, let’s meet.”  Though it was by text, she could feel the energy of his excitement, and she could tell Henry had something to tell her.

They met at their favorite Cafe Blue, ordered espressos, and Henry proceeded to share his excitement over the image he had had just before she texted him.  It was of a penny on a railroad track, laid there by young boys, wanting to flatten it.  Instead, the small penny derailed the whole train, putting lives at risk.  Mamie felt her face scrunch into quizzicalness.  She knew this image was for her but she couldn’t wrap her brain around its meaning.

Was it the train she was on that was getting derailed? Who would put a penny on her track? The answer was obvious. And, she also knew how easily derailment could happen to her.  She was reminded once again of her mother telling her she needed a thicker skin.  Again, though her mother was trying to help, Mamie was reminded that the words of “needing a thicker skin” sounded like gobbledegook, words from another country.

She returned to her present, which just before looked like her future, as now she had landed on the other side of the crevasse. Red-cheeked, with hair a bit tangled, she looked down the sunny side of the fork in the road and saw more of her future.


As she viewed what lay before her, she saw what looked like a game board like Candy land, or Shoots and Ladders.  One path was a dirt road, straight in front of her.  The other was a path to her right, yes made of yellow bricks, and wound back and forth as it led into the future.  With an anxious tightness in her stomach, she started on the straight path right in front of her and kept the windy road on the right, always in her peripheral vision.  Always remembering Dr. Moon’s advice, “Just put one in front of the other and do the next right thing.”

It was as if she needed to keep it in her awareness, in case something cropped out that she was not expecting, something scary or something fun, who knew?  

Choosing…or Not

we’re in a gauntlet of clarifying, breakthroughs and gear shifts ~ Kathy Biehl, Astrologer

The year 2017 had passed with adventure, challenge and, much risk-taking,   Mamie held some conglomeration of hope, fear, and anticipation in her head about 2018.  She knew this year would be different, just because it must, just because nothing stays the same.  The same feelings would come around; exhaustion, anxiety, hope, anticipation, joy, depression and if she wasn’t careful the same stories would come around as well.  She really wanted this year to be full of new stories and she could feel her way into knowing this would be the case.

Mamie sat at her desk waiting for the words to come tumbling out onto her Blog. Books, papers, her trusty laptop, a few crumb filled paper napkins from lunch and a water bottle begging to be filled, all spread out on her desk.  She was trying to hear her voice and it kept getting interrupted by other people’s opinions arriving in her head as if she had left a door wide open with a sign that said, ” > Right this way.” She wanted to say they were uninvited, but in truth, they were vaguely and cautiously invited, for she was the one who left the door open.

She had been stopped in her tracks before when hearing another’s opinion.  She would be drawing, embroidering or writing and show her work to someone who’s opinion meant too much to her. Upon hearing what they had to say, she would just stop working on whatever it was.  Stop, dead, and not return to the work for years.  So she both wanted to hear what they had to say and her thin skin was sometimes just too raw to take what she liked and leave the rest.  She would absorb their opinion, feel a wound or cut and that was the end of that.  Her mother had always told her she was too thin-skinned, and she had no idea what to do about that. It was as if her mother had spoken to her in a foreign language.

In looking for a greater understanding about making choices, her eyes darted around her room, hoping to find a place to rest her focus and they landed on her dog laying on her bed. Henry always gave her a sense of security, a place to mentally land and remind her that she knew where she belonged…to him.

Henry 2012 Ronada Piedmont, CA

Looking for the words that would speak her truth about making choices, she stared at the sun’s reflection on the Buddhist red walls that surrounded her. It was as if someone had thrown a splash of Caravaggio’s sunlit paint on the spot. Then, within a barely noticeable second, she was back typing a vignette, trying to capture an idea about where she had been this past year and where she was now.  She looked up to find that the art work and play of sunlight on the wall was gone.

With the distraction of her hungry dog and her own desire to eat, she traipsed into the kitchen, poured Henry his food then turned, open the frig door and just stood and stared into it.  She hoped that maybe, this time, her stare would conjure the refrigerator to talk and offer some amazing recipe with the food she had. She looked over what she did have, figuring out if she could put a few things together for a warm soup on this cold winter day.  She sauteed and stewed the cabbage, tomatoes, and onions she found it to be a bit skimpy but eatable. Took her soup back to her desk while Henry went back to his residence on the bed.

As she ate, she listened to her thoughts and wondered what had taken her so long to hear them. She had made some significant decisions in her life; like marriages, divorces, wrong partners, and lived with them just to avoid knowing what she knew, or what she didn’t know. Really, just to avoid the fear of being on her own.

She considered how she would claim herself and trust her choices, now that “not taking risks” had fallen off the linen covered table of options.  Risks were what was being called for and that made choosing all the more dangerous.

Just as she felt a pressure to know where her writing was going, she felt the same pressure to already know who she was. She had adult children for god’s sake and they needed her to know who she was. But the exploration was just beginning. The discovering of who Mamie was, was just now unfolding.






Living with All We Don’t Know

Maime thought of herself as a Knower, yet she knew nothing about what was ahead. People would try to pin her down, ask about her 5-year plan or just what was next and she just didn’t know. She felt the pressure to have a plan and she was never a 1 year, 5 year or 10 year planner.  She worked from experience, how it felt and that informed her choice to stay, change or wait for more information about wherever she found herself. So a plan that took her further into her future was very distressing and seemed overwhelmingly impossible.

For some part of her, it was a relief to not Know and when she felt that, she had the realization she was in a place in her life where she was well enough set, trusted enough that she didn’t have to know.  This was a place she never thought she would be. It made her think that many things happen with or without her wishes, controls or desires. With or without praying, asking the Universe for help or any other metaphysical method of attempting to have control over her life. Her life had unfolded in ways she never could have anticipated, at least it did when she took risks, the big ones, the ones that say, do this even if it terrifies you, and even if you can’t see how it will all land, or where you will land.  Someone had told her, that if she risked, the Universe would meet her without fail and that did seem to be true for her, hough that kind of new agy thinking always bothered her.

She wondered if the part of her that liked not knowing might find a way to get along with the part of her that got afraid and lived with a strong belief in lack and not being able to have what she really wanted? Trust seemed to be the calling she needed to constantly attend to.

The Mountain Climbing Goat Woman who lived inside her skin was determined to leave the fear and sense of lack at the bottom of the mountain.  Those experiences had become too burdensome and heavy to allow the trek she was on.  She thought about her teacher/mentor, Dr Henri Moon, and what he said about how to leave behind the hindrances of doubt, worry or anxiety. So she looked at her fear, right in the eyes, and her belief that there was lack.  In doing so, she could know it to be feelings, very real feelings, but just feelings, and she just sat with that.

She wondered about defining herself by what she wasn’t. She thought the smarter thing to do would be to consider defining herself by what she Knew, even if what she knew was that she didn’t Know.

“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can‘t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”