I often find myself referring to past lives – not in the sense of theoretical lives I led before I was born, but…sub-lives of my whole life.
Times when I lived in a different city, when had different jobs or school commitments, when I had different interests, passions, and challenges. Times so different, that the memories nearly seem to come from a different person – from a past life.
I collect experiences the way another might collect coins – always looking for something new and different. Cherishing each and every one.
So, I’ve collected a number of lives over the years.
And many lives, for me I’d say, is a good thing. What else should I do with my time on this Earth than experience as much as possible?
Yet the expression evokes the warning words of Oscar Wilde – For he who live more lives than one more deaths than one must die.
There are only so many hours in the day, only so many things you can accomplish, only so many paths you can travel down. Taking on something new means leaving something behind. Every new life has an old death.
But it is not as bleak as all that.
All these little lives are not independent, but form a cohesive whole. The experiences build on each other, branching wildly though they may be.
I am not the same person I once was. Some day, I won’t be the person I am today. But my past life isn’t gone, evaporated like the morning dew. It is part of me. It has led me to where I am, and will lead me where ever I go.
More deaths than one, perhaps, but more lives as well. And on the whole, I believe, life has got the balance.