Dilemma: “Does My Life Have Direction?”

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University of Baltimore MFA student Ellen Hartley has a few questions for her readers…and herself. But she doesn’t take any of them too seriously!



Does my life have direction?

What is direction?  Do I have

a purpose?  Is purpose

direction?  Is direction

linear?  Is linear

2-dimentional therefore



Can direction be linear yet deep?  Am I

superficial?  Why

does this question bother me?

(Why am I always asking questions?)

I feel


mired, rooted BUT wait

Doesn’t rooted imply stability & permanence?

If a rolling stone gathers no moss

is that a bad thing?

Who wants to be mired in


If the stone keeps

rolling it won’t

be mired in moss

on the other hand it won’t

be stable and permanent.  I’m

baffled.  If I give

the wrong interpretation mightn’t I be adjudged


and get mired

In a straitjacket?  Maybe

I’d better


asking so many questions.

Would that be cowardly?  Would you still

respect me in the morning?


Ellen Hartley is a nonfiction writer, currently enrolled in the MFA program at UB. When her career as a professional flutist failed to pay the rent, she became a lawyer and served as Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore City. She has also taught at Towson University and written music reviews for local papers.

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