If I were able to live my life anew,
In the next I would try to commit more errors.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be more foolish than I've been,
In fact, I would take few things seriously.
I would be less hygienic.
I would run more risks,
take more vacations,
contemplate more sunsets,
climb more mountains, swim more rivers.
I would go to more places where I've never been,
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans,
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people that lived sensibly
and prolifically each minute of his life;
Of course I had moments of happiness.
If I could go back I would try
to have only good moments.
Because if you didn't know, of that is life made:
only of moments; Don't lose the now.
I was one of those that never
went anywhere without a thermometer,
a hot-water bottle,
an umbrella, and a parachute;
If I could live again, I would travel lighter.
If I could live again,
I would begin to walk barefoot from the beginning of spring
and I would continue barefoot until autumn ends.
I would take more cart rides,
contemplate more dawns,
and play with more children,
If I had another life ahead of me.
But already you see, I am 85,
and I know that I am dying.
-Jorge Luis Borges (Or not. Some say this is an incorrect attribution.)Then I came home to Fantastic Spatula and saw Lucy's fabulous post about lessons on perfection and knew I had to share the poem with you.
Already I am 27, and I hope I have many more instants in front of me; I contemplated how I want to use them. Committing more errors would certainly happen if I translated more poems and stories by Borges. (Spanish class translating his work did not go well for me years ago.) I could certainly stand to relax and to shrug off perfectionism.
I will face more challenges and take more risks. Lately so much of my experience has taught me that the greatest gains are made when I do something that scares me the most. I will drag my feet less. I will skip more.
I realize I write in the future tense, and it thrills me to know that I will live my remaining instants so that when I reach that age, I can write my song of gratitude, not regret, and share my stories as encouragement, not admonitions.
What will you do with your instants?