Imagine that you will live for more than 120 years — what would you do?
Resetting my life
choosing a new path to walk
wiser woman born
I’ve come from my mother’s womb — a newborn filled with knowing. A chance to live well into the next century. I am curious and aware. Fear does not have a home in me. Instead, I embark on an adventurous journey. No longer the silent child, the meek child, the forgotten child. I make myself heard with a booming voice of confidence. I am no longer invisible. I cast my cares into the wind and come out dancing, singing, rejoicing.
unrushed — gathering
flowers and feathers tome-pressed
no trifilings here
There is so much I want to learn — science, music, literature and art. I begin my studies early. Focus-minded. No time for procrastination. No time to be told no. I spend my days buried in books and applications. By evening, I explore museums and zoos, or attend the ballet, the opera, or a play. I am a sieve — sifting knowledge.
By my teens, I travel the world and learn new languages. I fill blog posts with the sights and scenes I discover. Learn photography and create photo-blogs. The world is my classroom. Eventually, I settle in England. Attend Cambridge University. Study Archaeology, History and Theology.
feast upon the past
gain insight for the future
live only for now
By my thirties, I have spent decades seeking knowledge. Now I put that knowledge to practice. I assist digs in Egypt and South America. Write memoirs of my work and travels. Make new friends everywhere I go. I become interested in the diverse cultures, taking the time to learn their ways, aid in their struggles.
By my fifties, I have been nearly everywhere and seen most everything. I’ve climbed some of the world’s highest peaks and dived into the deepest oceans. I’ve enjoyed cuisine from the far east to the west and everywhere in between. I’ve had deep, meaningful friendships and passionate lovers, and then I find her.
the world offers much
life well-lived curiously
she holds mysteries
I take a much deserved vacation in Bali. Soak up the sun, dance in the ocean’s waves, and just unwind. It is late evening and I am sitting at an outdoor bar observing a raven-haired beauty at the far left of me. She is dressed in a purple two-piece bikini covered with a see-through white hooded cover-up. She’s sipping something fruity with an umbrella and straw. I am captivated. And then she turns her head and I am met with the most beautiful emerald eyes and red lips. She sashays over to me, plops down on a stool and introduces herself. Katarina.
emerald eyes shine
laughter peals throughout the night
by dawn, we are one
As mid-life cycles around, Katarina and I have made Bali our permanent residence, but not yet our home. She is a doctor with Doctors Without Borders and we travel to third world countries for her work. By day, she assists the sick, poor and elderly while I photograph her working and write about the people she helps. My writings are published in magazines all over the world and I donate the proceeds to the charities who serve these people. It is symbiotic. Sometimes, she accompanies me on digs and serves as a medic for the archaeological team. This is our life for the next few decades.
silver streaks shimmer
laugh lines encircle her mouth
she’s still my beauty
Still healthy and fit, as I near my nineties, I feel the need to slow down. Katarina and I retire to our Bali home. She sets up office as a village doctor and I spend my days engulfed in photography and writing. We travel less these days. We still have a few decades left, maybe more. And there may be more adventures yet to come. For now, we are content to just be here in the sun with the ocean breeze, together.
©2020 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.
This re-imagining of my life came about from Fahri Karakas’ two-part question, of which this is an answer to part one — Imagine that you will live for more than 120 years — what would you do?
I’ve chosen a rather idyllic world because the one I currently live in has been wrought with pain and trauma. So please forgive my indulgence.
I’ve chosen to tell my story here in a Haibun. This is a combination of prose, haiku and/or senryu form of poetry. Thank you for reading.
Lori Carlson writes poetry, fiction, articles and personal essays. Most of her topics are centered around Relationships, Spirituality, Life Lessons, Mental Health, and the LGBTQ+ community. She currently writes for Loose Words,💜POM💜 , Illumination, The Friday Fix, House of Haiku, Know Thyself, Heal Thyself, The Purple Pen, Blue Insights, a Few Words and Invisible Illness
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