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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Would You Change Your Past Life?

If I had it to do over again? Damn right, I'd change it. What silly person wouldn't with the knowledge acquired in a single, fleeting lifetime? I'd prop up the entire calendar in front of me and judge the mistakes and the correct decisions. Then, I'd edit my life. I would try to correct all the bad moves with some more compassion and understanding while keeping those moments of perceived justification. I'd map it all out and adjust the controls to "Vital Readjustments" and slam the button with renewed conviction for providing me and all around me a smoother sail.

I'd seek to maximize my positive opportunities while looking deeper into the eyes of my friends and family. I would extend my hand to some of those whom I have ignored. I'd say, "I'm sorry" and mean it more, caring less about the personal pride I felt necessary to sustain. I would notice the smaller things with greater clarity, and I would respond in kind to the quiet pleas while realizing my own volume and confrontation do not always produce the desired or appropriate results. My hat would not hang on the catch of improbable fantasy but on the secured hook of reality. 

I'd keep many innocent moments of silly behaviors and daring deeds although I would decrease my stupid, immature risks of life and limb. I wouldn't change my challenges nor my struggles that served to strengthen  character. I would thank those who lent their time and efforts to their proper understandings of my possible contributions. I wouldn't necessarily raise my own expectations of success, but I would let others inside my hard veneer of being envious of those somewhere near the peak of popularity. I would tell trusted others my serious faults for some needed penitence.

I most definitely would love more -- people (friends casual and intimate), influential souls who held me in the light, those moments of incredible impact, and the insights that sprang like grasshoppers from summer fields in paths I have walked. I would embrace these loving influences without restriction or regret. I would use my talents and gifts to express my true emotions with limited thinking about their impact. In short, I would put my unique understandings in view for others to accept or deny. I would hope that others would appreciate our human condition.

I would emit a voice of wide acceptance but also a voice of natural, deeply held convictions for freedom of liberal expression, personal liberties, and tolerance for the faults of others. I would express an unpopular cause if I felt it necessary. I would remain outspoken but temper it with less excess. I would explore the fringes of my understandings while understanding I could only be myself with my own limitations.

I would serve my country, lead those exercises in which I had special expertise, and I would step back from lost causes. I would request time to develop my understandings and to pass them to someone in need. I would place myself in the center of confusion and unrest to test my ability to gather people together. I would maintain the confidence that most change is good and inevitable.

I would not change my limitations of acquisition, yet I would extend my comprehension of simple pleasures. I would hope to remain a contradiction of initial perception and deeper understanding. I would remain confident in being different. I would speak more distinctly to people's needs, and I would ignore their silly rantings. I would have those close appreciate the art and the artistry of those on the planet who hold the ability to touch the soul and extend the vision.

I'd use my Ray Charles grit to sing my songs and accompany them with my Eric Clapton licks to make people laugh and cry. I'd write the music with the power and beauty of Lennon and McCartney and the drive of Chuck Berry to rock the bones of those on the floor of the brief rhythmic seasons of life. I would spotlight the wild, sad, and joyful expressions of passion, flaws and triumphs in a person's beautiful dance of life for the benefit of all.

"When all our tears have reached the sea,
Part of you will live in me.
Way down deep inside my heart
The days keep coming without fail.
A new wind is gonna find your sail.
That's where your journey starts."  

--Rodney Crowell

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