These days, one can’t help but wearily submit to the niggling truth that life itself is quite generic. The range of its emotions and experiences have been irreversibly exaggerated by an insatiable mob of post-modern hyperbolists; a mob completely overwhelmed by their sheer pathos and compelled to seek justification of an existence already long passed its sell-by date. There is no progression, no discovery; just regurgitation, recycling and global warming. It’s not the mob’s fault. Nor is it mine, or yours. Blame it on the bankers, I say!
ANGLO!!! - Je t’emmerde!!
The late great Robert Frost once described the bank as "a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain". Now, when I left my old banking job in 2008 to come to France and enlist, I didn’t so much steal an umbrella as build myself an outright protective vessel capable of carrying me safely through this relentless shitstorm of post-recession recovery.
Kind of like Noah’s Arc meets Pimp My Ride.
All the umbrellas in the world won’t save a system already soaked through and through by reckless lending, corporate hand-shaking and government negligence, but then that’s no longer my problem. Locked away here in the sunny south of France with my false name, modest wage, bank accounts, health insurance and an ever-improving second language, I can’t help but feel that choosing that road less travelled has reaped dividends. Hard earned dividends, it must be said, but I’m still floating comfortably in the green as many around me gurgle from the murky, deathly debt-ridden depths.
So Frost’s road not taken and the Anglo mob all got me thinking of how society today is less about exploration and more focused on depiction. The last rock on the long road of life has long since been upturned, but the ways in which said rock can still be described, celebrated, painted, hailed, worshipped, hated, berated and loved remain infinite. Each of us will still inevitably pass along this road, kicking leaves and disturbing stones as we go. What we find beneath will be nothing new to the imperial oaks and sapphire skies observing our voyage since time began, but how we interpret, describe, ingest, digest, egest these images, sounds, smells, sensations, it is THIS which keeps the game interesting.
Frost will never be beaten in terms of expressing the emotions encountered when a tough decision must be made in life, but that’s not to say that wordsmiths and spin-doctors the world over can’t still delight and excite us with their own attempts. For all who read this I hope that, when the time comes to take the road less travelled, solace can be found in the knowledge that you won't have been the first to have chosen or travelled that road. Equally though, we must pride ourselves on the courageous yet certain reality that the footprints you leave shall be entirely, uniquely your own. Thank you Mr. Robert Lee Frost.
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