People and new opportunities wind up crossing regularly. What you do when you run across a new one depends . I believe in what Yogi Berra used to say, “When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.”
In my Folkie days, it was the entire rationale for Frolicking Detours; if a particular “adventure” looked interesting, follow it. If I was offered a ride to Louisiana to meet someone’s cousin who was a great slide guitarist—Hey! I was game for the trip—game for the journey and ready to learn the lessons offered.
I was careful what I consumed with strangers, bailed out mid-way on adventures going sour, and avoided going anytime I felt suspicious about the credibility of something. I didn’t believe in certain types of coincidence. Some things were too good to be true, and magic carpets did not exist.
Being born and raised in New York City helped, and having suspicious parents also worked out well. My father had been a Merchant Marine in the thirties and forties and shared his experiences freely. So by the time I was on the road, I was both innocent and well on my way to becoming a suspicious adult. I didn’t have to wait for a bulb to light up over my head to know when a deal was off, and it was time to split the scene.
My mother had been orphaned at an early age and had experienced the subtle manners people use to delude children. From her, I learned to question people’s motivations for apparent kindness.
Here is the rub. I’m the type of guy who wades slowly into the cold water. So how does that fit with the adventurer who wanders off at the drop of a hat? Shouldn’t I plunge in eagerly? No.
New experiences are worth having. I’ve gone to see the elephant many times. And I’ve seen the consequences of a lack of care just as I’ve benefitted from the journey. So I know it pays dividends to be adventurous cautiously. The combination of an adventurous spirit and a cautious nature cluster well together.
And that’s how I’m still game to try the next fork in the road.