Monday, July 09, 2018

A Diamond Road

At first, we came here for the soil. A dirt road was good enough.

Then we went west for the gold.

For a while we settled for plastic and asphalt as the wheels of industry turned.

And now?

Now we search for diamond roads. Roads littered with sparkles and jewels, roads that lead only to riches. And not the riches of heaven, either. We search for the spoils of the day. Big cars. Big homes. Nice clothes. Expensive shoes. A yacht, maybe.

Living the good life, walking that diamond road.

The thing about diamonds is they are hard and nearly impenetrable. You can't eat them. You can carve them into pretty things, or use them as tools to cut things, but they're rather useless in the day-to-day world.

Walking a diamond road is about like walking a gravel road. Just shinier.

In Frank Baum's book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the road is a yellow brick road. The book was written in 1900, so the gold boom in California was still fresh on everyone's mind, I imagine. A yellow brick road would be like that diamond road of today.

Baum's book has lots of lessons. Dorothy is the immigrant to Oz, which one could consider to be the United States. She follows the path and has to traverse lots of dangers to get to the Emerald City (aka the United States). She is then spit-polished and sent back out into danger, to emerge victorious in her return to Oz. In the end, though, she discovers Oz is an illusion. (Don't mind the man behind the curtain.)

Is the "American Dream" an illusion? I think it is for a lot of people.

Robert Frost took the "road less traveled." In an Eagles song, a couple goes rushing down a highway and then are dying to get off as they live "life in the fast lane."

It seems to me today most people want that diamond road. They're not searching for the dirt road, or the soil path, or even a yellow brick road. They want on that fast lane and they want all the riches they can grab.

While riches are not like pie - there really is enough for everyone, if the thing is only carved properly - the spoils seem to be spun out in strange fashion in this country. The diamond road is pranced upon by a small few, while the rest believe they are walking on it but they're really on a dirt road and the rocks beneath their feet aren't diamonds. Just rocks.

Most people ultimately travel many roads as they head toward their ultimate destination - which is, for every single one of us - death. I have often wandered off the road to see what is across the meadow or on the other side of the pond. It leads to an interesting and creative life, these adventures, but it doesn't bring diamonds.

At some point I decided I really didn't want diamonds. I'm not sure I even want a road. I think maybe I'd just like a little path, one not trod by many, with lots of distractions along the way.

1 comment:

  1. I love this!! I have had different roads at different times in my life. A golden brick road when I was a very little girl and a dirt and somewhat gravel road as a teen to a woman. I must say this, I’d walk with you. And I hope you find my company on the little path nice and that I added fun to the journey. For I have learned and seen that no matter what road you travel, the destination is always the same outcome. Just some of us have a more sincere, more kind and more appreciated journey filled with a love of life instead of a life filled with loves.( possessions, objects and people )


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