Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Reincarnation & Alternate Universes: A Theory

These are the very words she uses to describe her life...

She said a good day
Ain't got no rain
She said a bad day's when I lie in bed
And think of things that might have been...
"Slip Sliding Away" Paul Simon, 1975

Sometimes, you'll hear a song or see a face that reminds you of another life you might have lived. If you had taken that one path differently, that life lies shimmering just beyond your reach.

This isn't melancholy or regret, just thoughts about alternate timelines. 

Each step we take causes a quantum state of "might have been" to slide right past us. We hardly notice them, these alternate lives. This is actual scientific theory, but you know, I think it's also the root of a lot of world religious beliefs.  Not only are we reincarnated in many lives but we're living many lives right this second. And a new one this next second.

That smiling beauty at the bookstore, looking at you with longing in their eyes? A different word, another path, and you would be with them, instead of who you are now. Would it have been better? Worse? Somewhere, some WHEN, it is. Somewhere, you took that step and you live an alternate life. 

Isn't that interesting? The thought that there are multiple copies of you out there? Some of them aren't that different. They chose to eat scrambled eggs this morning instead of corn cereal. Big deal. Some of them live in entirely different cities, have entirely different careers. That fleeting thought of change you had once? Some other you took it. They went skydiving, they joined the Peace Corps, they got married young, they pursued their PhD, they are a waitress in a dive bar and they go to the beach during the day, sun-kissed and smelling like coconut sunscreen.

Honestly, this life I have right now I'm 99.9% happy with. There are choices I could have made that would have been a little different, a little better. There are some that could have been a lot worse. I would have liked to finish a few things a bit faster. It would have been (would still be) nice for my career path to have gone a bit differently. More winter beach time would be, would have been, amazing. I would not have dated that one guy. You know the one-- the one that rubbed all the innocence off, that broke pieces of your heart into tiny bits. You put them back together, but never quite the same.

But sometimes I catch a sliding door, a crack in the timeline, and I see a vision of the me I would be, could be, if that other step had been taken. This one I'm on now is amazing, and it's entirely possible that other one would have been sadder, lonelier. But it's still over there, hovering out of my consciousness.

Other lives. Live all of them to your fullest. Every single one.

Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see.
Oscar Wilde, Humanitad



  1. Such a lovely post. My writing is almost entirely nonfiction - I've never had the sense I'd be a good creative fiction writer, though I'm a fan as a reader. But this post makes me want to dive off into writing stories about my alternate selves and life trajectories. Could be some fantastic therapy and/or exploratory fun. :)

  2. I want to come back as my twin sister and redo this life again. I didn't have a twin but I do have a sister, so when I come back as my sister; I will have a brother (me) and a sister. I just want to live a life without Autism and see what it's like, on the outside.