We discovered that it is from a poem called Instants (Instantes), which in fact, may not have been written by Borges after all. There’s an unresolved dispute about it on the internet.
Nevertheless, Rolu’s distillation of the poem is perfect New Year’s Eve inspiration for thinking about what’s past and what’s ahead, as is the errant poem, below. We’re not crazy about making resolutions (failure seems built in), but we like the thought process. For us, it involves asking “What if…” and imagining possibilities, unfettered.
We discovered that if you change ‘resolution’ to ‘wish’, or ‘goals’, the whole vibe changes, as in this Tweet from Yoko Ono:
What are you envisioning this New Year’s Eve?
Instants (author unknown)
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.