Sometimes I mourn that I’m not living so many other lives.
Didn’t you want to be…a sailor on board a ship, sailing the world round, salty and carefree under tropical seas, watching whales dance, whispering to porpoises telling them secrets you’ve never shared with another living soul?
Didn’t you want to be…a nomad like the heroine in Eat, Pray, Love? Eating your way around the world, your fingers drenched in secret sauces of Spain or Portugal or China or Timbuktu as you fall to your knees in Istanbul, India, infinite freedom? Loving your very heart into brown faces, red faces, yellow faces, pink faces, black faces, every face on the planet, appreciating every being just for being?
Didn’t you want to be…a dancer? Like the painted elfin creatures from Degas paintings that I glimpsed in our deep dark basement at age nine? Didn’t you want to work so diligently, shaping thigh and calf into a dancer’s ensemble, a woman wearing pastel blue and twirling endlessly?
Didn’t you want to be…a woman captured by Indians in the 1700’s, OK, with nary a hair harmed, only yelled at to cooperate, to wake up from the dream of Puritanism? Oh, and you would fall in love with the tall warrior named Deer Chaser, and you’d live happy-ever-after raising babes wearing buckskin, running through tall meadow grasses, never mind the deep winter hunger, the whites trading rum, the way your best friend died in childbirth.
Didn’t you want to be…a pirate? C’mon, a bold pirate, a swash-buckling pirate, a fellow with black hair and piercing eyes scrabbling over the lines on deck, sword on hand…no, never mind, I did not really want to be a pirate, except maybe during that one book ten years ago.
Didn’t you want to be…your best friend? The one with long straight brown hair? The one admired by male and female both in junior high? The one who didn’t seem afraid? The one with confidence and tight-fitting jeans? (Even though you learned much later she too was uncertain, not sure, wondering which way to turn. She knew how to play the game, though, and how you wanted to steal a set of the rules.)
Didn’t you want to be…a college professor, all intelligent and sharp, witty with every idea under the sun? Teaching rapt students with stars in their eyes, feeding them tidbits of knowledge, so delighted to be sharing gleaming possibilities, knowing they would some day write dissertations, novels, or maybe raise smart babies?
Didn’t you want to be… that writer, that one with silver tongue, sharing swooning metaphors to readers who awoke in another dream, a far-away place, forgetting for a second the whys and wherefores, so deeply embodied in a swirling cloak of tomorrow’s possibility?
Didn’t you want to be the President? An actor? A psychologist, all swirling caped and healing deep injuries to the soul? Didn’t you want to be a baseball player with that perfect pitch sailing from your hand into the hearts of your fans? Didn’t you want to be…?
Sometimes I think I want to be everyone in the world, just for six seconds or a day. Something aches inside at times that I seem to be one single person, in one single life.
(Although I do love being me, living in our Little House in the Big Woods, one quarter mile from Lake Superior’s shores.)
Thank goodness for books and movies and friends and family and dreams and even blogs. We get to encompass lives other than our own. We get to experience other feelings, thoughts, preferences.
If you weren’t the unique wonderful individual that you are~~who might you want to be? Or what book have you read recently that transported you into another life, if only for the weekend?