Published on July 26, 2011
by Luis Jorge Borges
If I were able to live my life again,
next time I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect. I would be more relaxed.
I would be much more foolish than I have been. In fact,
I would take very few things seriously.
I would be much less sanitary.
I would run more risks. I would take more trips,
I would contemplate more sunsets,
I would climb more mountains,
I would swim more rivers.
I would go to more places I have never visited.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems, fewer imaginary ones.
I was one of these people who lived prudently
and prolifically every moment of his life.
Certainly I had moments of great happiness:
Don’t let the present slip away.
I was one of those who never went anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,
an umbrella, and a parachute.
If I could live over again,
I would go barefoot, beginning
in early spring
and would continue so until the end of autumn.
I would take more turns on the merry-go-round.
I would watch more dawns
And play with more children,
if I once again had a life ahead of me.
But, you see, I am eighty-five
and I know that I am dying.
(My dear friend Selina Barker shared this poem in her Juicy Tuesday email.)
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