Sunday, December 08, 2013

Imaginary Lives

The Half-lived Life
digitally manipulated digital composit
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aka Nadine, over at In Blue Ink, has written a post about imaginary lives.  It came from May B's blog and references The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron.  I worked though that entire book years ago.  The book was ruined in "The Floods" we had, so I bought a new copy and worked through it again.   Even so, I have forgotten what I wrote, and my old computers (multiple iterations of them) have died, so I will start over and write something new.

One of the things about being a writer of novels (I can't say I'm a novelist, since I have yet to publish any of them ) is that I get to sort of try on various lives, and have based long and short stories on that premise.

Here are some of the lives I've imagined for myself, not in novels, but in my normal waking life:

1)Writer. (famous writer, famous poet, children's author.)  I used to always imagine myself being famous.  Now, I just want to complete and publish some of my work.

2)Artist:  I'd like to illustrate and publish children's books.  And maybe adult picture books as well.  That's more of a goal than a life, but I have imagined myself in the life of an artist.

3)Photographer:  I'd like to be a more skillful photographer and perhaps publish some of my photographs.  One of the lives I often used to imagine for myself when I was younger was being a National Geographic photographer.  Or working for National Wildlife or some other magazine, but National Geographic was long a favorite fantasy.

4)Naturalist.  I used to be a naturalist, and after I lost that job, I fantasized for years about doing it again.   I loved it.

5)Park Ranger:  This is another long-time fantasy of mine.  I used to want to work in a fire-tower, but that job has become obsolete.  For many years, I wanted to be a park ranger or naturalist in one of the big National Parks such as Yosemite.

6)Environmentalist:  When I was in college, I got really swept up by the environmental movement and often dreamed of becoming deeply involved in life of environmentalism.

7)Shaman/Healer:  I took a lot workshops and courses toward becoming a Shaman and many others on being a healer.  That includes such things as Reiki,

8)Vagabond:  I've led the life of a vagabond and have often missed it and considered returning to it.  Before I met Biker Buddy, I was seriously considering returning to that life.

9)Catholic Nun or Zen or Buddhist Nun:  No, I am not making this up nor am I copying aka Nadine.  It's something of fantasized about for many years, off and on.  I was not raised a Catholic, but my father's family was Catholic and I went to church with my relatives for many years as a child.  I later became a practicing Zen Buddhist.  A life of simplicity and even asceticism appeals to me on some level.  I hate the vulgarity of over-consumption, even though in some ways, I am guilty of it.

10)A happily married woman:  For years, I used to fantasize about being a happily married woman.  I had a series of terrible relationships, and some that had their ups and downs.  Some of it was my own fault and some of it was bad choices and some of it was bad training.    But finally, I have a happy marriage.  It's not perfect, but nothing in this life ever is.

11)A healthy life:  My current fantasy, and one I have had for many years, is to lead a healthy life, to sleep well instead of being awake the entire night like I was last night, and to be lean, happy, healthy, vigorous, enthusiastic, active, engaged etc.  I realize the older I get, the less likely this fantasy is to be realized, but I haven't given up hope.

12)A life free from addictions:  My current addiction of choice is food, particularly sugar, which affects me very badly, but if I have the tiniest bit, I want more. ("One is too many and a hundred is not enough").  My fantasy life would be a life free from addictions.  A more practical imaginary life would be one where day by day, I am truly successful at managing addictions.  That is, avoiding sugar and white flour and not overeating and not substituting other addictions for food if I control the food.

13:  A happy life:  I would like to be calm, serene and reasonably happy.  Sometimes I am, but I am not good at being happy or serene when I haven't slept in days.

13)A "Together" Life:  Some people seem to have it all together.  SEEM may be the operative word.  Or maybe they really are in control and organized.  I feel overwhelmed.  I'd like to have a reasonable number of ducks and get them lined up and quacking a happy song.

OK, clearly I could go on and on beyond the original scope of the exercise!!!  I think we were only supposed to do FIVE.  I'm not good at following directions!

Do you have one or 5 (or more) imaginary lives you'd like to share?  Or poem of flash fiction piece based on an imaginary life you'd like to lead or just try out?


a/k/a Nadine said...

Re: 2) I think you DO live the life of an artist. Maybe you haven't published books and maybe you aren't famous, but even so.

Great list!

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, maybe you're right. :-D

I always imagine my life "should be" somehow different than it is. Which is silly and sort of sad.

John said...

I think what Nadine said, you are an artist and all that you mentioned are aspects of your Character. Not every one may recognize them in you, you may not be famous yet, however you have a very healthy view of who you are and your aspirations.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks so much John for your sweet supportive and kind comments!!!!!