Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Excuse Me, I Diverge

In Robert Frost's poem: "A Road Less Traveled" he writes about two roads diverging in a yellow wood. With fall upon us in the northern hemisphere, a lot of my readers can relate to the "yellow wood". One of my favorite places on our nearby mountain is in an aspen grove in October with the golden leaves fluttering in the breeze and slowly sailing to the ground. The next lines in the poem are something like: And I took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference. One of the strongest points in poetry is how powerful statements can be made so succinctly. And today's vocabulary word isn't succinct, it is diverge! Back on point, if you think about the road less traveled in a wood, there could be many reasons for it. The road is probably steeper, rockier, muddier, lonlier, there may be trees fallen across it that have to be circumnavigated, it may be the longer distance to a similar goal, unfriendlies may inhabit the woods this less traveled road passes through. But the poet implies that when he prevailed against all those odds, it made a lasting impact in his life. When I first read this poem as a young teen, I decided the road less traveled was the road for me. I was the rebel's rebel in high school. Today, many decades later. I still cannot conform. I still fight the unfriendlies in the woods.

Yesterday during the long, 2 hour drive to the city, I admired the puffy white clouds in the strikingly clear blue sky. And listened to Rush Limbaugh for about 1/2 an hour. He makes me laugh. For those who aren't familiar with Rush, an icon of conservative talk radio, I'll just say: he is rough on the Left. Myself, I lean conservative but I have a liberal heart. So I laugh at Rush, read blogs written by partisans of the left and the right, and cast a secret ballot. I thank God I live in a country with open debate.

The news is full of stories about the huge $340 million jackpot in the Powerball Lottery right now. The masses of people in this country don't realise how infinitesimal their chance of winning is because they never went beyond beginning algebra in high school. I heard rumors in college about how tough the undergrade class in Statistics was so I never took it. But I know enough to avoid buying scads of lottery tickets. And the majority of lottery ticket buyers? Those who can least afford it. Myself, I confess, I buy about 2 lottery tickets a year. Cost: $2. My mad money. I only buy state lottery tickets because I want my "donation" to stay within my home state where it funds various projects. It is a rare diversion for me. And diversion comes from diverge which as you may recall is the word for today. So divert your $1 today, but don't bother again until next April. It's all in the numbers, statistically speaking. That is my inference and I'm sticking with it.

1 comment:

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Good post.

The greater tragedy is when some people believe they have a better chance at good fortune by buying a lottery tricket than through self improvement.