Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh,
Kookaburra, gay your life must be
Today, for the first time, I researched what the Kookaburra sounds like. If you don’t know, a Kookaburra is an Australian bird with a distinctive call. The little song written above was taught to me over 25 years ago, by my childhood bestie, Scharee. I don’t know where she learned it, I haven’t looked into the origin of it. In fact, I don’t know why I thought about it this morning.
Well…yes I do. I was driving home, thinking about the things people lose. I don’t mean your car keys, your favorite chapstick…I mean things that make you, you.
From my childhood, the only things I’ve lost that I wish I could go back in time and retrieve would have to be my Raggedy Ann doll (purely sentimental) and everything I wrote from 6th grade through high school. I don’t really care if it was crappy adolescent weirdness. There was some pretty amazing poetry in that mess. I’d like to think it would be worth incorporating into my AnnThraxx site at the very least.
I don’t wish for much else in the past. My past is, for the most part, best left there – I mean, unless you want to be severely underwhelmed and perhaps a little sick to your stomach. Suffice it to say, I’d much prefer to stay here, in the present, maybe fast forward six months or a year, through all the different kinds of shit I’m dealing with now. But other than that, I don’t often wish to go back in time. After all, Marty McFly did it one time too many and the next thing you know we’ve somehow elected Biff for president.
I recently read that there are thousands of different versions of you. Every person you passed on the street last night, every person you’ve made eye contact with, every friend you have or have ever had, and every encounter with any other human being creates another version of you. No two people view you the exact same way, and therefore you have many, many versions of you floating around out there in the world.
That idea freaked me out a little bit. Then after I thought about it for an entire shift at work, it actually comforted me a little.
You see, I am terrified of dying. Not because I fear for my immortal soul, not because of heaven or hell or purgatory…but because it’s the end of this existence, and I don’t know what happens after that, but I’ve only just now gotten ever so slightly used to this body and this brain and these weird human things we do and damn it, I don’t really feel like dying is all that groovy of a thing.
And, I’m afraid of being forgotten. I have several hundred things that I would like to accomplish before I’m too old and crotchety to care anymore. I don’t want to lose the drive to do all of those things.
Many people lose that drive. They get caught in one of those weird time loop things, like from Star Trek or Groundhog’s Day, where the same thing happens again and again, and they don’t realize they’ve gotten caught up in such a thing until they realize that they’ve complained for the 84th time in as many days that their tea gets entirely too cold entirely too quickly.
Or sometimes they never leave the time loop. It’s much more comforting to complain regularly and receive accolades, it’s much less work to make yourself the topic of every conversation, and it’s much less stressful to tie a string around that spotlight and tug a little to make sure you never quite leave its warmth.
I have no idea, exactly, where this jumble of words is going. I just keep thinking about the things we lose.
Purpose. That’s it. I’ve convinced myself that I must have more than one purpose, and at this moment in my life, I’m where I’m at for a specific reason. I’m not talking that hippy stuff, peace love hug a tree kiss your momma…no. I just mean maybe there’s more than one purpose for each of us, and once the smaller ones are served, the larger ones open up and wait for us, like those crazy gamer friends of mine, the ones who delve into that Dungeons & Dragons mess (described as such with fondness, I love my gamer friends!) or the other ones who stay up two days in a row, playing whatever zombie killing tactical mummy monster chaos guitar gun shooting thing they’re playing. Those people know what I mean. You complete a particular quest, another larger quest opens up and waits for you to jump in. Right?
The last several months I allowed my writing to slip and then finally grind to a halt. This was a mistake. Now my brain is overflowing with entirely too many words for much of it to make sense. Hence, the sudden essay on Australian birds and things we’ve lost.
I am learning patience, thanks to this laptop. I’ve never actually owned one until this year. I was always a desktop, sit in my corner, tap tap tap away kind of gal. This morning I’m sprawled across my bed, laptop in front of me. I don’t even have to wear pants right now!!
Usually when I write an essay, it is prefaced with the title “You Can’t Say That” and I say a lot of witty or snarky or purely opinionated things. Today, it’s just me rambling on because I feel reflective.
I don’t like to whine when I write. In fact, I don’t often care to write about myself. Sometimes the situation calls for it, so I go for it, but I don’t find the subject of me very fascinating. It can grate on your nerves when a friend posts a new 3000 word thing and you open it up and once again the subject is me me me, poor me, look at me, me me me me, oh good lord stop!!! Right? C’mon, you know you have at least one friend that does it. It’s not a diary, they insist! It’s not a “blog,” they swear it!
So. I don’t want to lose sight of my creativity. I don’t want to lose those 1,324 amazing ideas I have for poems and stories and books and essays. I don’t want to put too much “me” into it.
I was thinking this morning of things we lose, when that little song written at the beginning of this post popped into my head. My friend Scharee taught me that little song. She died a few years ago. We were six months apart in age, and I lost her. But my version of her still exists. I miss her.
Take heed, dear Reader. Please do that thing that you want to do. Write that story that you’ve been thinking about. Make that investment in that company or theater or rock band that you love so much. Go and exist and create as many versions of yourself as it takes to do those things you want to do. Don’t get caught in the time loop. And whatever you do, make every version of yourself the best it can possibly be.