I love those times when you see or become aware of something, and then as if by magic other connected or linked things start appearing too, often thick and fast.
I wrote a little while back about Robert Frost, and in particular this poem (The Road Not Taken). Then while reading Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways I came across a section about the relationship between Robert Frost and Edward Thomas, which specifically refers to that very poem being seminal in Edward Thomas’ decision to enlist in the First World War (which led to his death in France in Arras in 1917), he having read into the poem meanings not intended by Frost. It was fascinating and sad reading.
In July Malcolm and I began to make an effort to see a long list of friends who we’d really not been able to see much of during the recent difficult years (lack of time, lack of energy). Like us, several had also been caught up with parental illness and bereavement, at the same time as dealing with stuff to do with their own children. Comes with the territory of our ages.
Anyway, one of these friends, Richard, contacted us to say that we might be interested to know that he had some prints in a local exhibition (Carmarthen). Luckily we managed to find a day during the exhibition when he, his wife, and both of us were free. We arranged to go there for lunch, then take a stroll with him after lunch to see the exhibition and some of the town.
It was a lovely exhibition, and I spotted his work immediately because I know his style from the gorgeous home-made Christmas cards he’s sent each year for a long time (I have a collection that I get out to display each year).
Then when we got back to their home he kindly showed us around all the art work he and his wife have displayed around the place – much of it created by them (and their children), some bought from artists they admire and others inherited from parents. I enjoyed it even more than I’d enjoyed the exhibition.
One print in particular caught my eye, because it contained a line from the very same poem by Robert Frost.
Not only that, but Richard very generously gave me a print to bring home, which I will frame and hang in my room with great pleasure.
And this set me off on a whole train of thought on one of my recent walks about the ‘roads’ I have chosen in life, and the difference they have made. And it really is true, the choices did (and do) make all the difference.