I’ve decided I need at least two lives. I know you hear this all the time. But since you created this situation, I feel you could at least hear me out.
In one of these lives, I’ll strive to be one with the world you created. Disavow wealth. Walk into the woods. Ride a horse bareback. Find a mystic woman in the woods. Hold hands. Grow old together and communicate only with our eyes. I’ll read Thoreau. Tolstoy. the Bible. and call it a day. Maybe once I’ll witness a miracle. I’ll watch an eagle become a man and then fly as a bird back into the sky again, and that wonder will sustain me more than a million movies for the rest of my life.
In another of these lives, the one I’m living now, I’ll strive to change the world you created. But for this life, you could help me immensely if we discussed and then implemented a portfolio of superpowers that I could use sparingly to better the world….because the Iranian president is crazy as Hell (excuse me Lord), George Bush is crazy as hell (excuse me God), and the little kids are shooting each other in the streets and dropping it like it’s hot in church. In this particular life, I also need some professional consultation. Perhaps I can speak with Peter?
I need to know where love fits in during times of war. I feel like Odysseus right now, walking home, thinking about my son Telemachus, wondering if he and my wife miss me. wondering if anything i’ve done in the last ten years matters at all. wondering if i did all this, fought this entire Trojan war, created this Fellowship, for selfish reasons, not for good vs. evil, not for the pure principle of the thing, but because I was engaged in the act of heroism, trying to become a story that could live forever…a selfish thing?
you think a lot of crazy things when you’re walking home.
That said, I guess I need to add one more life. In that life, I’ll be like my father. My father made some mistakes, some big, some small. But what he knew most was sacrifice. something tells me my father could have been a great writer, athelete. he could have been anything. but he started a business to provide for us. we were a singular thing in his mind, the only war he was fighting. and he was a far braver man than me.
so this last life, like his, will be about nothing but family. In this life, i’ll go to work and come home every night. I’ll toss the ball to my son, and spin my daughter around. after they go to bed, perhaps and this is a big PERHAPS, i’ll read a little, write a little.
one thing is certain: in this last life, when frodo asks me to join the fellowship, I’ll kindly decline… and then like Candide I’ll tend to my garden, spend the waning days of the universe, not on a battlefield, but with the ones I love.