rotifer


rotifer n. a minute multicellular aquatic animal of the phylum Rotifera, having a wheel like ciliated organ used in swimming and feeding.

After a week at the beach, this seems like a fitting word. I can only imagine how many rotifers we came in contact with on Block Island. It is also a fitting word since I have taken such an extended hiatus from this blog. I needed a good noun to write about – not some pesky, emotional adjective or energetic verb.

Rotifer reminds me of high school biology – a subject I adored when I was 16. I think I have lost quite a bit of intelligence since then. I have no idea how I handled the mathematics and technicalities involved to study science, let alone think I could continue my biology studies in college. Sometimes I feel like I copped out when I changed my major to English. It was an easy major for me. I didn’t have to struggle to write or read as I had always loved to since I was young. I chose the road most travelled by when it came to my higher education.

This brings me to the subject of life decisions. Since having my son, I have had to make some very weighty decisions about my life, not returning to work being the largest and most influential one. Believe it or not, it would have been a lot easier for me to return to work. Work was familiar for me. I knew I could do my job well and what the challenges were from day to day. In contrast, baby raising is a constant challenge. Regardless of how much I read or research there is always so much more to learn. I also made the decision to be more health conscious after being pregnant. I run and try to eat right (mostly). I take my art and creativity seriously now and give it the time and consideration it deserves. Moving away from Brooklyn was also difficult. It would have been really easy to just stay in our old life and simply insert the baby into it…or at least try. Ultimately I miss Brooklyn immensely, but I know that Maplewood is a real home for all of us. I suppose I am always a work in progress and always trying to make the right decisions. It gets overwhelming sometimes.

There are many people in (and out) of my life that I like to study. People watching is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s interesting to see what doors open and close by the making of difficult decisions. Even in small ways, perhaps as small as the rotifer, we are always making decisions that blaze a trail for our future. What to eat for lunch? What to wear to work? Whether to bathe or not? Go running or watch TV? The fascinating thing about making decisions is how one minuscule decision can be life changing at any moment in your life without any warning whatsoever. Even more fascinating is the fact that sometimes making the more difficult and painful decision is the better one to make. Of course this leads me back to Robert Frost in his much abused poem:

The Road Not Taken

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 marked 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. 

 Perhaps it would be easier to be a single celled rotifer with less decisions and mistakes to make. And maybe I should have persevered with my studies in biology and become a doctor. The one thing I am sure of is that my road has been very windy and interesting due to the decisions I have made. It also double backs over itself, goes backwards and then forward again. Sometimes it dead ends and I have to go back the way I came. Frequently there are rocks and boulders to climb over, scrapes and bruises to heal. Some days the trees may cloud the sky and leave me in darkness. Other days the sun blazes down to show me the way.  A straight and level road would be pretty sad. I’m glad I’m not a rotifer and that I have many, many cells and appendages to help me travel along my road and make good and bad decisions all along the way.
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