Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stoneman - by definition

Most of you know that my name is made up. I wasn't born with this name. I named myself.

My first name, Miles is from a poem by Robert Frost. Despite the siren call of the woods nearby, a traveler presses on in his journey because he has "promises to keep and miles to go" before he can sleep. Miles, by definition, is keeping promises despite the distance yet to be traveled and the seductive call of present ease and comfort.

My family name, Stoneman is derived from combining the last four letters of my wife's birth name, and the last four letters of my birth name. As in the Biblical injunction, we have "left father and mother and have been joined" to each other. But what does it mean? Ah, another Frost poem is in order.

In "The Road Not Taken" the poet describes a situation wherein he comes to a fork in the road. Since he had not yet heard of Yogi Berra, he stood looking and deciding. In the end he chooses the road less traveled. And that road is the common focus when this poem is read. But consider the poet's words,

"I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."

I took. Can you see it? It's not about the road. It's about the choosing. Stoneman, by definition, means choosing a road. It means considering carefully, but stepping off smartly with the left foot into the future. It means weighing the options, then grasping for the gold ring with both hands.

For the poet, it was the road less traveled which interested him. But I contend that the difference was made by CHOOSING; by boldly taking his destiny into his own hands and steering his own ship; bearing the responsibility. The poet says in a previous place,

"Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back."

Stoneman, then, by definition is looking then leaping. Leaping out into that wild blue yonder with only your intuition and faith for wings. Stoneman is the audacity to choose!

Are you a Stoneman?

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