If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse, if you ride to the right, you will lose your head

There is a common motif in Russian folk tales, where a vityaz (Russian knight) comes to a fork in the road and sees a menhir with an inscription that reads: “If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse, if you ride to the right, you will lose your head”.

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost (1874–1963). Mountain Interval. 1920.

As I look for winedipity experiences everyday, this poem showed itself to me. I was wondering why and when the expression “fork in the road” was used… just an etymological curiosity I had, and for a moment I felt I was one step forward in my search.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler (…)

Why did I “took the other”, when “both, that morning equally lay”, and how did I walk it? I shall never know. I just know where I am, and don’t try to ask more questions because “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Every moment I conscientiously live is a “fork in the road“: the moment I step out of bed being able to go back to sleep, the decision to eat fish rather than meat or a big piece of chocolate cake instead of an apple, every action in the real world is followed by an inner reaction, and what is a reaction if not the choice of an emotion: to be happy, sad, angry, grateful etc. about the primary action.

cheshire-cat-alice-in-wonderland-quote1-1024x7681

Right way? Left way? it doesn’t really matter. What matter are the guts I have to assume every moment of the day and know I am right because I choose, I decided.

“If you ride to the left, you will lose your horse, if you ride to the right, you will lose your head”. What would you choose?

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