When my blogging buddy Will talked about reincarnation in his hilarious blog, I couldn't help but wonder about my own past lives. Though I don't exactly buy the concept of reincarnation, I find the idea of a past life appealing and perhaps even logical. Considering the many insanities and eccentricities that I egotistically claim to possess, perhaps a troubled and colorful past life is the only explanation.
My mind can only take me as far as the 1600s. And these are my theoretical past lives:
1. During the 1600s, I was probably what they would then call a witch. I was probably in the early struggling United States, unmarried but landed. Poet, musician, and breaking all the laws by not being chaste and quiet. I made poems and songs, mostly about unrequited love and freedom, wore my hair long or short depending on my mood, rode horses and travelled alone. I made love to whoever I liked, mostly traveling minstrels and artists, and strangers speaking different languages. I studied astronomy, biology, and was known as the local apothecary too. After speaking up against the custom of marriage and chastity and insisting that women should have the same rights as men, they burned me at stake. Before I was executed, they found a poem written for a stranger, a lover I never had. They thought me mad, my crime was witch-craft, treason and prostitution. They burned me at stake but some old lovers scattered my ashes around rivers and the nearby ocean. They made songs out of my works but forgot my name after a few years.
2. During the late 1800s, I was what used to be known as a "buffalo-girl" - a female version of a Western cowboy. I ride horses, was an expert with the lasso, I can even tame the wildest bronc. I was a famous hired hand during round-ups, who can also double up as a source of entertainment in the evenings due to my skill with the guitar and the flute. We used to steal cattle from Mexico. In between cattle seasons, I spent time in saloons, occasionally the source of cheap sex for lonely cowboys. They got my services in exchange for a few swigs of whiskey and good conversation. Both a friend of the whites and the reds, I used to spend evenings around campfires, singing with Indians and cowboys. Sometimes, I wake up in mud puddles, drunk, or in Indian villages. Calamity Jane was said to be my legend. I was killed during the battle between the Texans and the Sioux. They say I never took sides, and was killed in the cross fire as a Medicine Woman.
3. During the 1960s, I was a groupie. I screamed during Beatles concerts made love with all four of them, followed the Rolling Stones during their concerts, smoked pot with Elvis himself. Bob Dylan wrote a song about me. He used to tell me I just move through life like a rolling stone. I helped Joni Mitchell write "Both Sides Now". She wrote that song when I was crying over a man I lost. I used to wear long skirts, and my hair was long and wavy. I played the guitar, rallied againts the Vietnamese war. I helped establish the first Woodstock festival. When I was high on marijuana, I went up to the White House, bringing a streamer with "Give Peace a Chance" written all over it, poured petroleum over myself, and lit a match. I died and nobody knew my name.
These were the lives I imagined I led. As you can see, they all explain why I'm still crazy up to this very day. A common theme pervades: alone, unmarried, unconventional, and too easily forgotten. The same theme persists until now.