The first year of the rest of my life
Dec 31st, 2012 @ 12:11 am
No one can go back, but everyone can go forward. And tomorrow, when the sun rises, all you have to say to yourselves is:
I am going to think of this day as the first day of my life. I will look on the members of my family with surprise and amazement, glad to discover that they are by my side, silently sharing that little understood thing called love. I will pass a beggar, who will ask me for money. I might give it to him or I might walk past thinking that he will only spend it on drink, and as I do, I will hear his insults and know that it is simply his way of communicating with me. I will pass someone trying to destroy a bridge. I might try to stop him or I might realise that he is doing it because he has no one waiting for him on the other side and this is his way of trying to fend off his own loneliness.
Instead of noting down things I’m unlikely to forget, I will write a poem. Even if I have never written one before and even if I never do so again, I will at least know that I once had the courage to put my feelings into words.
I will keep smiling, because it pleases me to know that people think I am mad. My smile is my way of saying:
‘You can destroy my body, but not my soul.’
If it’s sunny tomorrow, I want to look at the sun properly for the first time. If it’s cloudy, I want to watch to see in which direction the clouds are going. I always think that I don’t have time or don’t pay enough attention.
Tomorrow, though, I will concentrate on the direction taken by the clouds or on the sun’s rays and the shadows they create. Above my head exists a sky about which all humanity, over thousands of years, has woven a series of reasonable explanations. Well, I will forget everything I learned about the stars and they will be transformed once more into angels or children or whatever I feel like believing at that moment.
For the first time, I will smile without feeling guilty, because joy is not a sin. For the first time, I will avoid anything that makes me suffer, because suffering is not a virtue.
I am living this day as if it were my first and, while it lasts, I will discover things that I did not even know were there. Even though I have walked past the same places countless times before and said ‘Good morning’ to the same people, tomorrow’s ‘Good morning’ will be different. It will not be a mere polite formula, but a form of blessing.
And if I’m alone when the night falls, I will go over to window, look up at the sky and feel certain that loneliness is a lie, because the Universe is there to keep me company.
And then I will have lived each hour of my day as if it were a constant surprise to me, to this ‘I’, who was not created by my father or my mother or by school, but by everything I have experienced up until now, and which I suddenly forgot in order to discover it all anew.
And even if this is to be my last day on Earth, I will enjoy it to the full, because I will live it with the innocence of a child, as if I were doing everything for the first time.
Taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA