My life has been lived in third person, so much of it a retelling of what has happened, a foreshadowing of what might happen, and all the winnowing ways I have gotten here, to avoid there.
This kind of living leans forward and back, unsure of whether something happened that way, or did I retell the story this way? Every projection of what’s coming slightly different, each ‘what if’ casting me in the circle of the things I might stumble over.
When I can see myself in the the mind of my life, I know I’m not living. It can’t happen at the same time; either I’m five-sensed experiencing it, or I’m wondering about it, my minds eye seeing me, two dimensional and barely focused. But it’s clearer now; that’s not living. That’s rehearsing.
I’m beginning to understand that the retelling of my story is more a chorus than a soliloquy, the gathering of other peoples’ recollection of me knit into an ill fitting vest of reminders of when I let someone down.
The story of my life has been told back to me, in small whispers, shouldered and filtered and carried to this place.
And this is where it rests.
The life I’m living forward won’t hold the stitches of the way other people wished I would have been. All the times I wasn’t true to someone’s version of me need to be laid down, the exhaled understanding that the seams won’t hold because I didn’t tailor them.
It is a gift to sense what someone else wants, the filaments of need snaking in the air, ready to be charmed back in the basket by music played from memory. I just didn’t realize how many times what someone needed was for me to be different. It wasn’t that I charmed the snake, it’s that I was cast as it; and then it was mine to coax back into submission.
If my life is to be lived in first person, the first person I cannot betray is me. If I look back it is to remember what it felt like to be unwatched and unnoticed. When life was fully lived in one day, wandering in bee buzzing fields free and wild, charmed by the music of day croaking into night.
That is where it begins.