The Road Not Taken

June Theme
Travel Journaling
June 13 – Week 24
Art Challenge: Recording Memories
Journal Prompt:  Taking the Road Less Traveled

This week, I am focusing more on my memory than on my art journal.  When I read the prompt, I instantly thought of Robert Frost’s famous poem, The Road Not Taken.

My Journal page ended up being a hot mess anyway, but as I worked through it, so much bubbled up to the surface, that I decided to leave the art alone.  It happens.  I may go back to it at some point but not today.  Not this week.

This poem evoked many beautiful memories and happy times for me. I was fortunate enough to spend so much time with my grandmother growing up – large chunks of time – entire summers and nearly every weekend.  I was in awe of her.  She was a working woman in a man’s world – not because she had to, but because she wanted to.  She graduated at age 45 from the University of Maryland.  In her college yearbook, she is one of only two females in a sea of male graduates.  She wasn’t even going to go to her graduation – the ceremony was unimportant to her, but her professors urged her to attend, just so they could present her with her degree and the distinction of Summa Cum Laude (highest honors).  She was surprised to find she was Valedictorian, selected from a prestigious faculty and her peers.  She was unassuming and smart and kind and had a career long before women even thought about that {or men accepted it}.  She taught me ‘how to play the game’ in the business world and her lessons helped me many times while I was making my own way through the ranks.  She encouraged me to ‘pick my battles’ and let the rest go.

“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

Besides being a savvy and successful business woman, my grandmother also was a Dreamer, like me.  She read poetry and traveled and hung out with intellectuals and artists.  She and I would read poetry for hours and I was always her companion when attending gallery exhibits and art shows.  She introduced me to the poetry of Shelley, Keats, Lord Byron and Frost. She showed me Monet, Manet, Renoir and Vermeer.  At a very young age I was exposed to a treasure trove of the written word and the visual world.  All of this inspiration and guidance molded me into who I am today.

So back to Robert Frost’s poem . . . she used it as a metaphor for me.  I remember the day exactly.  We were walking along a beach on the Chesapeake Bay and discussing Frost.  ‘You can follow the pack and do what everyone else is doing, or you can forge your own way and make your own path.”  She did that in her own life, and I am doing the same.  I am so grateful for the encouragement and the freedom she gave me to do that.  No matter what obstacles come my way, I make my own path and keep searching for my own True North. So I dedicate this page to her memory and as a thanks for all of the wisdom she passed on to me – I use it every day!

I created this collaged page using an old Atlas I found in an antique shop, some acrylic paint and a few stencils from StencilGirl; Around the World Latitude by Mary Nassar and Compass Rose by Julie Snidle. *NOTE – the geo tag stamp from Studio Calico is stamped outside the perimeter of the map . . . I took the road less traveled!

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  1. Mary Nasser

    GORGEOUS pages, Lorraine! Wonderful to read how these were inspired by your grandmother and the extraordinary example she set for you! Thank you for including my stencil in your lovely pages, too!

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    What a wonderful back story with your Grandmother! Loved reading about her (and you too!)

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    Wonderful story. Heartfelt. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my grandmother either. Your story really resonated with me. And your page looks great…so retro. And definitely not a hot mess.

  4. Sandi Keene

    I love the retro feel of this Lo. Its wonderful!! Miss you loads.

  5. Rae Missigman

    Your story was so amazing. I always enjoy reading your peeks into life. Thank. You for that. You AND your grandmother are more than just beautiful dreamers- you are what the rest of us women aspire to be. Love you.

  6. Mary W

    Beautiful tribute to your grandmother. You can always tell when someone is genuinely writing from their heart when you wish you could meet the person they are writing about. She sounds amazing and I guess I have already met that part of her through you in your blog and in person. So I know she is amazing.

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    This is a fantastic page . Hope this post flies as all rejected so far. Love that poetry and the story of your warm and nurturing relationship with your gran.

  8. Sabrina K.

    How fortunate you are to have had such a mentor in your life! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful part of your life and how its influences translate into your work. Beautiful tribute!

  9. Joyce Angieri

    Thanks for sharing memories of your grandmother, what happy days for you both. As always, your creations are a huge inspiration for me. Can’t wait to get to my studio! Blessings, Joyce

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    I love your story. You were so lucky to have such and inspirational grandmother. I love your collage page too. Thanks for sharing.

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    Love this page! I may have to get one of those geotag stamps. The vintage atlas is great.

  12. Sabrina K.

    What a beautiful share and how fortunate you are to have had such rich mentoring Lorraine. As someone who loves road trips, I find your art journal page very appealing! 🙂

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