two roads

Here are a few words about the many roads I’ve been walking on for the last 15 years or so. It’s more than a justification of a resume that jumps contexts and continents. It’s my way of reflecting upon and consolidating a personal narrative that sometimes reads like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book. It’s a celebration of the current situation I’ve wandered into as a volunteer at Green School in Bali – a place where, as I say in the poem, “the divergent converges.” And it’s an affirmation of the value inherent in the many roads my generation is walking down.

So to all my fellow travellers: keep walking, keep wandering, keep weaving your way down these many roads, and find your own way to make all the difference.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood”

I gazed down one and then the other

Asked my father and my mother

Google mapped the road ahead

And waited for the answer to load

And while the rainbow pinwheel spun I asked myself:

Why not travel both? 

In this forked up world life’s not a highway

That you speed along with the windows rolled up

And the radio blasting 3 minutes of ads

For every Talyor Swiftly in one ear and out the other song

Did Tom Cochrane have it all wrong?

Not a highway

With clearly marked exits and bumpy ridges

In case you fall asleep at the wheel and drift off course

Because you were never really paying attention to the road after all


For me it’s never been a highway,

And that fork in the road? I looked at it for a while.

And then with a wink and a cheeky smile

I picked it up and stuck it in my pack with my Swiss army knife.

Because sometimes I like to let the surreal be real

Carry some duct tape and an imagination

And go hop a few fences, bushwhack my own path

Get myself lost and find my way back

Two roads diverged

And so did I

One side to the stacks, to the ivory tower

To the criticisms of power in all the ways it manifests itself in schools,

I sharpened the tools of my intellect

Learned to analyze, reflect, and always come correct

Each lesson plan taking a stand

Against classrooms sealed like pharaoh’s tomb

To the ever changing world of abundance

Outside the concrete playground’s chain link fence

Young minds restrained in defense

of a broken system

I struggle with them

Unsatisfactory, needs improvement

Does not meet the requirements of this course

Two roads diverged

and the other side of me picked up a paddle

And headed upriver

Like the first people who traveled my country’s watery avenues

I drank in the sunsets and camped in the quiet dark

The stillness was moving

I’ve walked some roads and I’ve walked them well

Let me make my intentions understood

Every road I’ve walked down, I set out to do good

Even if some days I walk a little farther than I should

Some days these roads I’m walking on get twisted

Dark and bent and foggy misted

Strewn with papers and debris

And with my head full of brains and my shoes full of feet

I consider going down some not so good streets

I trip and stumble, ‘til I find the beat

Ba dum

ba dum

ba dum

It pulses

It echoes off the sides of buildings

It sends a signal to the tide

And tells me, just keep walking, you’ll end up somewhere

Somewhere you haven’t been before

So I walk some more

And one day, across a bamboo clearing I spot myself

Whistling, taking in the scenery

Straight back steady stride focused eyes

I move through stands of green shoots

These parallel journeys I’ve been on

Through these yellow woods

What was divergent converges

What was dormant surges

And a vision emerges to my whole self

It is a vision of classrooms that aren’t rooms at all

Where learning is drawn out not stuffed in

Essays and forays into the community are given equal weight

And history is an education for the soul

Where students fine-tune their hearing to make sense of a cacophony of voices

Problems get messy before they are solved

Conflicts are acknowledged, sometimes unresolved

And students understand that the world has evolved to a place

Where our tools can make distance dissolve and minds revolve

And I resolve to keep walking, keep wandering

Keep weaving my way down these many roads

And that has made all the difference


One response to “two roads

  1. Loving it!! Very passionate! Walk the path! Z

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s