THE PAST LIFE EXPERIMENT

Posted: May 29, 2009 in The Past Life Experiment

past-lives

There are times when I look at my life and where I am at and wonder, “How did I get here?” Not in the existential sense of the phrase, but more accurately, “How did I arrive at this point?” It is during these times that I often view my present circumstances the way an archaeologist looks at the remnants of past civilizations. A shard of pottery here, a point of arrowhead there, a treasure trove of skeletal remains strewn about. I look at my art, my music, and my literature as being like these remains. Sometimes they are as mysterious and alien to me as a tattered tapestry whose fragments are scattered, lost, incomplete. What inspired me to create these things? What motivated me? What is the relevance of my work? Where is it going? What is it all leading to? In my adventures of venturing, have my ambitions become too big for me, or is one lifetime too small to contain all of my ambitions?

I will try to answer these questions by doing some serious soul-searching. I have labeled it, The Past Life Experiment. During the course of the year, I will re-visit my past through memories, songs, ideas, challenges, past-times, and other various love-to-dos, all in an effort to re-introduce myself to myself.

Throughout life, as we grow and change, I believe that we incrementally become different people for better or worse. In light of the brief gems of achievement that we experience, it is easy to forget the monumental struggle that has molded us and allowed us those fleeting, shining moments. It has taken me 30 years to become the person that I am in this moment in time. Maybe it will take me another 30 to reacquaint myself with those things that fundamentally got me to this point. But as I take the time for reverie, I am still moving forwards in time, still progressing (or am I regressing?). Therefore, I might be playing a futile game of cosmic “catch-up,” in which my quest to keep my past alive hinders my ability to live in the present. This experiment is my attempt to join memory with forward motion. In short, this is my attempt to remember.

This soul-searching extends beyond the scope of my various crafts and lies at the heart of my identity, or, at least, what my identity has come to mean to me. What will I find when I till the soil of my past life, loves, and losses? I must admit that I am a little scared of what I will discover. But perhaps I will re-discover parts of me that have been forgotten or dormant. Perhaps I will re-invent myself, or maybe I will lose myself completely. Either way, I’m just going to go with this and see where it leads me, what it takes to be me, and hopefully answer the question, “Is it still possible to be me?”

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