Past Lives

Related to my “More than meets the eye” post from yesterday.. here’s a story to get the little hairs on the back of your neck sticking up.

When my oldest child was just a wee little thing she was quite accomplished for her age. She could walk at 10 months, she could make things with play-doh without trying to eat it by 18 months, she liked to paint, and she had a good enough vocabulary to carry on a conversation with an adult before age 2.

So one day, as I’m making her snack of cheese cubes and lunch meat spirals, she’s chatting away happily about this, that, and the other, and she says to me, in her little tiny girl voice “Mama, before I was (her first name)….”

and I stop what I am doing and think hmmm.. where is THIS going?

and she continues “I was a soldier on a hill and I had a horse.”

and I say “Before you were (her first name)?”

and she says “Yes.”

and I say “So, you’re (her name) now, but you used to be someone else?”

and she says “Yes.”

and I say “Okay then.”

All very matter of fact, no grin as she waits for me to realize the joke… just, before she was who she is now… and my brain went Woooah!! Wait a minute.. back up a second here! My two year old thinks she had a life before this one??

So I racked my brain, thinking through every book we’d read together, every show and movie we’d snuggled in to watch, every minute of the News that had been on while she was not asleep, every person she had come in contact with in the recent past… and I couldn’t think of a single incident which would have planted the idea of a previous life.

Mind Blown.

More than meets the eye

I like the idea of parallel worlds. I like thinking about all the different possible outcomes that would exist if you could follow each option from every decision you’ve ever made.

Just picture it, every time you were faced with a yes/no question – you chose and your life followed that path, but what if you could go visit that other reality, the one where you made the other choice… where might that lead? And if you keep mapping out every decision, every choice, every place your life might have changed course… how many branches would that flow chart have?

Sometimes I think about it till my brain hurts (which doesn’t take that long.)
And when I think about alternate realities, I also think about what happens when you die and I think about reincarnation, because that’s an amazing and crazy possibility to consider. And I think about time travel because OMG I wish I could time travel! I love stories with time travel. Nothing too heavy on the history lessons, just cool stories with an element of time travel, like ‘The Time Travelers Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger and ‘Lightning’ by Dean Koontz and ’11/22/63″ by Stephen King.

My eldest daughter obviously thinks about these things too, because she said to me one day, as we were eating an afternoon snack together, what if all the times you have déjà vu it’s really your future self trying to send you a message? They’re giving you hints about something, but the only thing they can send back is that ‘this has happened before’ feeling and you’re supposed to figure out what they are trying to tell you.

Hmmmm… what if?

And why am I off on this tangent when I’m supposed to be editing my WIP? (oops!) I blame Wil Wheaton, because he posted on his blog about an old house that hadn’t been there before http://wilwheaton.net/  and then my brain quoted Shakespeare at me:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.*

and the two thoughts crashed into each other and spiraled out of control… also I may have exceeded my allotment of caffeine for today.

*from Hamlet

 

Boston

I thought I was having a bad day yesterday, and then everything was put into perspective.

I couldn’t stop hitting refresh. I didn’t want to look but I needed to know, to bear witness as if my knowing would somehow ensure that my sympathies, my silent prayers, would be felt by those in need.

Mr. Rogers words have been shared, and shared again, and they are wise and worth holding on to:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

and in every story yesterday, the helpers were there.

Boston, my heart is with you.

Writing vs Reading

It’s very hard for me to devote large chunks of my time to writing my WIP because I have little stacks and stashes of books waiting to be read. And they whisper to me.

There are old favourites on my bookshelf, new ones on my bedside table, and one in my car.

Read me.

Read me now.

We’re so much better than that thing you are scratching at. It’s all misshapen and unwieldy. You keep trimming, changing and polishing… come here, come look at us… we are polished… we are finished.

I love books. I love reading. But those finished books are a little intimidating, who am I to dare think I am capable of creating one of those?

Will this WIP ever go from manuscript to book? Will it find an enthusiastic agent and a brave publisher?

I don’t know, but I will finish it.

Be patient books, I’ll read you in a moment.. I just need to reach my word quota first.