More Lives

YOLO. I see it all the time and it is just not true. More religions and people in the world believe in reincarnation than not. We are here in our tight little world of Judo-Christianity or our dark sky of atheism and it’s all we see, but there is more. To a lot of people there is more. I can’t say I’ve reincarnated from another time or place, since I have not done a past life regression, but it’s possible. And that’s not the ‘much more than one life’ I’m talking about.

According to recent science, there’s the life you wake up to every day and the life you wake up FROM every day. And there are the lives you live if you are a writer. Ray Bradbury said our brains don’t know the difference between writing a novel or living those words.

Actors inhabit their characters to the point where they are that guy they’re playing. Then there are people who pass into other lives in other worlds. Like Gypsy. If you don’t believe in science: superstring theory and cosmologist’s recent findings of multiverses, they sound like magic. I never knew until I read about the science and became a character in a magical novel who experienced it.

The brain can’t tell between dreams and day life, and it can’t tell between a deeply imagined fictional life and one that looks like a person sitting at a desk or standing on a stage. So, how many books can you write? That’s how many lives you can lead.

Or maybe you don’t write or act but you have a rich fantasy life, maybe you enter into the you who you want to be and you meet the one you want to be with, who is not the guy snoring next to you. You’re lying on your bed, but you’re not.

Or you enter into the novel you’re reading so completely that you wake from it like a dream when your 21st century oven timer goes off in your dystopian adventure.

I’ve been playing make believe all my life. Most kids do. Adults do it too but we call it reading, or writing, role-playing. It’s real, baby. It’s all real. At least to your brain, and, you know, if the brain is dead, the person whose head it’s in is dead, too. Or maybe they’re just on to their next reincarnation.

6 Comments on “More Lives

  1. Cindy, you’ve got me so intrigued with this post, and I need to go buy a copy of GYPSY. Loved your reference to Bradbury, a favorite of mine, and the magical idea of moving between the two worlds, the way writers and artists always do.

    In fact, when I was posting my new art blog recently, I was trying to explain in my profile how magical realism is my favorite literary genre, and I try to bring that to my artwork. (As a journalist, I can’t dabble in magic, as those topics are firmly rooted in the real world.) We all need a good dose of magic these days, and I look forward to your new book!

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  2. Thanks Cindy. Art blog? We need to catch up:) I was so afraid to try “magic” but found I love it. I feel freer from traditional plot and my prose loosens up like bright ribbons. Coming to find your new blog now:)

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  3. You have touched on something I have been experiencing recently – nighttime dreams that feel like real life. When I wake up I can tell you what subject I taught, what the classroom looked like, what the students said and did, etc. It’s a different classroom each time. This has happened over and over, so much that I confided to a friend that I might be time traveling and teaching when I should be sleeping. Driving home tonight I was thinking about an interaction I had…and realized I must have dreamed it last night. I can’t explain it but you might be onto something….

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    • Sharon, it’s spooky, I know. Whenever I dream I’m teaching or cleaning house, I immediately think about accepting the Pulitzer Prize. My dress, my shoes, my lack of prepared speech…

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