Sunday, March 14, 2010

This is Me?

I don’t claim to know what is going to happen to me when I die. The heaven idea sounds really good, but not too realistic. The hell idea sounds really bad and completely realistic. Purgatory, well that just sounds like a version of how most people live. There is the whole – nothing happens but death theory, which does not bother me in the least. And then there is my favorite idea about life after death – reincarnation!

What is not great about that? The idea that we are all just recycled souls getting a new go time after time - that sits very well with me. One lifetime I’m a Japanese farmer during the Ming Dynasty and the next I’m a cowboy settling the old west who’s shot in a bar brawl, no matter where I land in the history of time I get another chance to live again.

I think about this every time I see the painting Bohemas au café from 1885 by Jean-Francois Raffaelli. I distinctly remember the first time I saw it in 2005. I turned a corner at the Monet museum is Paris and there I was. It popped into my brain instantly, “that’s me”. I had never seen the painting, I had never heard of Raffaelli but I was looking at a picture of myself from 1885. It sounds completely hokey, I understand. But I believed in that second reincarnation was possible and I had been a pipe smoking fat man with a cane and top hat outside a café in Paris. Great!

Really, I don’t know. But this is the type of stuff that comes to mind when I am out and about seeing what the world has to offer. Maybe I was just seeing me now, switch the beard and pipe to a glass of red wine and lipstick and you got Kristen circa 2010 New York. No matter, I still like the idea that I come back over and over. I just hope my past and future selves enjoy their life as much as I am enjoying mine.

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