If I were able to live my life anew, In the next I would try to commit more errors. I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more. I would be more foolish than I've been, In fact, I would take few things seriously. I would be less hygienic. I would run more risks, take more vacations, contemplate more sunsets, climb more mountains, swim more rivers. I would go to more places where I've never been, I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans, I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people that lived sensibly and prolifically each minute of his life; Of course I had moments of happiness. If I could go back I would try to have only good moments.
Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.
I was one of those that never went anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, an umbrella, and a parachute; If I could live again, I would travel lighter.
If I could live again, I would begin to walk barefoot from the beginning of spring and I would continue barefoot until autumn ends. I would take more cart rides, contemplate more dawns, and play with more children, If I had another life ahead of me.
But already you see, I am 85, and I know that I am dying.
I've spent my entire life trying to figure out how to make the most of life with the inevitability of death on my mind. It is still hard for me to imagine that most others really only consider their life within the context of death when death is 1, 5, maybe 10 years away.
I am moved by this video poem. I am in awe of the the beauty of Borges's words - it stopped my day in its tracks. However, on a discussion board amongst doers, builders and rationalist, I feel motivated to encourage more.
We live in a unique time in humanity - a time where our rationalization about death can extend beyond feel-good sentiments like 'make the most of your life'. We live in a time where we can extend our lives; we can use motivations like this to encourage our culture and society to put a greater emphasis on technologies that enable drastic life extension. Make the most of your life and others by working or influencing to extend our lifespans. Use this motivation to adopt the mindset that you can preserve all that is wonderful about life for hundreds, possibly thousands of years - influence your peers and hack longevity.
Actually, "Instantes" started life as a Reader's Digest (prose) article in 1953. Over time, it was transcribed by several anonymous scribes, rendered in free verse, and attributed to different authors. I remember seeing it published in an Argentinian newspaper as a Borges poem (Clarin? if I remember correctly) sometime in the '80s, shortly after Borges' death. I think that was the first time it was attributed to Borges.
For more information:
Last link is a hyper-pedantic article in Spanish by a Borges scholar, with quote by Borges himself on the subject: "[If I was to live this life again] I would do the same things. Because one is like one is, no?"
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.
The process by which I imagine attractive urban legends and inauthentic quotes being engineered is one of deliberate dishonesty (though of course some are honest errors), and it disgusts me. e.g. "you cannot fool all the people all the time, ..." - not Abraham Lincoln, "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance" - not Thomas Jefferson.
There's some step involved where a quoter thinks "this is beautiful/true; I want to share it" and then decides it would make more of a splash if it were branded with a Respected Name, and that repulses me.
I liked that submission because I could easily identify with most of the behaviors in that list. I too often have the urge to correct someone over something arguably unimportant. It's so strange.
I miss the mountains.
Last summer, I also took my Dad on a trip where we rented a couple of Harleys and rode the PCH from S.F. to L.A. and then back to S.F on a more inland route (btw I am so jealous of those of you living in CA!). I can’t believe I waited so long to get back into something I loved so much...should have done it years ago.