|Photo Credit: Morgue File by Marcia Umland|
Today's post is a response to the GBE2 prompt "If I Had My Life to Live Over".
Today I turn thirty-seven. For 13,515 consecutive days I have breathed the air of Planet Earth, tasted her salty hurts and sweet amusements. For 444 months, I have been constructing myself out of bits of leftover scrap metal and lint, cracker fragments and moldy cheese. As today I look back on the years and take stock of who I am I have this to say: Meh.
If I had my life to do over, I would follow a unicorn into the woods, grab hold of its mane and climb on before I stopped believing in unicorns. I would not come out of the woods. I'd still be there now.
I'd learn more about Jesus. He used to get into my senses like the smell of an unfamiliar food. I didn't like the way he looked at me. Now that I am thirty-seven, I keep meeting people who are friends with Jesus and they invoke him in a way that makes me wish I knew him better. Just as a friend.
If I had things to do over, I would realize that I was going to need to actively teach my sons any number of things I hoped they might pick up intuitively, such as manners, love of literature and history. I would start teaching them right away, realizing that as much of their education was going to fall to me as to their teachers and that it would be my job to make sure that they kept on loving to learn. I'd sprinkle education into the oatmeal–finely ground, hide it under their pillows, tuck it into their shoes. I would not feel reticent and apologetic. I would be a warrior for their minds.
I would spend more time gardening and less time reading about gardening. I would let myself do things and fail. I would let plants die. Fear costs more than plants. Stagnation is more expensive than failure.
I would realize that all of us live a gospel. Our lives are an unfolding testament to the particular and idiosyncratic truth that we have been shaped to make. Sometimes, the gospel of my life leaves me in the corner of a silent room, frustrated and lonely, leaving scratch marks up against walls of words that won't relent. Sometimes walls soften and through them emerge kinfolk, who through their very peculiarity are all the more my friends. For every time I am heard and understood I must pay with an agony of misconstrued intentions. But I would know this and accept it solemnly and absolutely, as one enters the priesthood of one's own values, forsaking the easy lust of the herd. In not fighting this, I might save myself years of pain paid unnecessarily and stupidly.
If I had my life to live over, I would take more solace in shared commitment and less in righteousness. I would buy back wasted months chained to a rack of surety and anger and slip soundlessly into the laughing garden of beloved community.
If I had my life to live over, I would live it in the comment section of Faith in Ambiguity.