Do what? Live my life again? Could I do things better?
What age, which self would I want to be?
Be young again? Have the affair I contemplated having? See my mom one last time before she died? Find another place in Malibu to live? Produce my "Shattering Panes" play one more time?
So, what about the be young things?
Be a beginner dancer? Could I stretch more, make myself more limber -- despite my feet, learn to dance on pointes? Be a ballerina, even though some of the steps, some of the essential moves still look silly to me?
Be a teenager, and have to deal with making the highest marks in school, and what am I going to be when I grow up? And pimples? And fall in love with the quarterback Dave, the handsomest big man on campus in High School.
I changed myself -- makeup, clothes, dimmed down my brain, learned to talk sports, made friends with Dave's side-kick, a shrimpy twerp who ran Dave's errands -- I actually gave this shrimpy kid the clever, facetious do-you-like-me note I wrote (lavender linen stationery, purple ink, each word worked over and over) to hand-deliver to Dave ... Never, never would I want to be back in those days and feel how I felt when Dave never, never, never answered.
So what about love -- other possible life partners -- go back and be in a position to consider the possibilities again? NOW? Hmm ... I'm not geared up by my upbringing, my era, to picture myself operating, functioning successfully in the current scene.
And what would I wear? I gave my wardrobe away -- all those fantastic outfits I had that were innovative, created by me to catch the eye of discerning men and women (mostly the later). Could I create clothes like that again? Would I wear Victoria Secret bras that create cleavage? Get boob enhancement surgery? Oh dear ... I don't think so.
Even if I could turn back the clock, could I unlearn what I know and feel? Would I want to NOT marry my first husband? No, gee, we created a dance company!
What would I want to go back and do again? Some job I did, like mopping the studio floor last night? I could have done it more carefully -- why didn't I put "SlipNoMore" in the water -- it makes the floor less slippery and I'm slipping too much?
No, the quick, light, cold-water mopping removed the layer of dust -- the dust is why I'm slipping. Anyhow, I can go back and mop it again if it's still slippery.
At the top of this page, the doodle (seven ages of Em) -- that's a job I've gone back and redone at least six times --scanned it, pasted a new face on the 2nd smallest toddler. Click it -- you'll see how I fussed over it -- going back and doing it again definitely improved the doodle.
Okay! "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again..." I can do that with writing, but would I? Do I want to go back and write another version of a "The Woman," a/k/a "Cordelia," a/k/a "Woman of the Century," a/k/a "Cordelia's Almanac," then "'Somebody"?
I, wore myself out -- wearing her clothes, living her life -- I grew up in her time, aged as she aged, even described her death so vividly I feel as if I've already described my own demise. No. I do not want to live through Cordelia's life again.
And "Shattering Panes" is a project that I'm finished with... (Shh ... I love the play -- wrote it for me to perform in with my husband and son, but where their careers are at, my revving it up, even doing another reading ... well it would be sweet for me, but a backward move for them -- fun maybe for JC but wrong for our son.)
Hey, a mother knows.
I keep thinking of the lioness patiently, sometimes impatiently boffing, pushing her cub out of the den so he'll learn to find food, avoid predators, and survive without her. What the cub knows, and what the cub does with what he's learned is HIS LIFE. (Even if Mom knows best, it has to be up to him.)
Ergo -- no play project for me.
Ergo, all that I've done, learned, yearned for, tried, avoided, regretted, loved, hated, mourned, and sought -- is me, moving ahead, sticking to what I am because that's me.
Hmm. I like that!