If I could live my life again.
Next time, I would try to make more mistakes.
I would not try to be so perfect, I would relax more.
I would be sillier than I have been.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would be less fastidious.
Accept more risks, I would take more trips,
Contemplate more evenings,
Climb more mountains, and swim more rivers…
I would go to more places where I have not been,
Eat more ice cream and fewer beans.
I would have more real problems and less imaginary ones.
I was one of those people who lived
sensibly and meticulously every minute of their life.
Of course I have had moments of happiness.
But if I could go back in time, I would try to
have good moments only,
and not waste precious time.
I was someone never went
anywhere without a thermometer, a
hot water bag, an umbrella
and a parachute. If I could live again,
I would travel more frivolously.
If I could live again, I would begin
to walk barefoot at the beginning of the spring
and I would continue to do so until the end of autumn.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would contemplate more evenings and I would play
with more children.
If I could have another life ahead.
But I am 85 years old you see, and I know that I am dying.
This poem is believed to have been written either by Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), an Argentine poet or American poet, Nadine Stair. Everywhere I looked (desperately trying to give credit where credit was due), gave one or the other – and a few sources listed the author as “Unknown.”
Personally, I think Borges wrote it in Spanish and Stair translated it into English. However, Stair could just as easily have written it, so I’m crediting both. Who said the words isn’t nearly as important as the words, themselves.
It’s just a beautiful and elegant reminder that life isn’t just for living… it’s for living out LOUD.
This was sooo beautiful & I “pinned” the photo, and shared on FaceBook. Your posts almost make me feel good; your blog is a totally “feel good” spot! Keep up the great work! 🙂
GEEZ, I MEANT YOUR POSTS “ALWAYS” MAKE ME FEEL GOOD. Duh…
Tracey, Thanks SO much! Your sweet words mean a lot – they make me feel good!
Prashhant Misra says
Awesome,loved that 🙂
Bring me more
Bart Gruzalski says
This poem is now entrenched in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction literature. It is usually attributed to Nadine Stair. According to the Wikipedia:
(1) Moments (Spanish: ‘Instantes’) is the title of a text wrongly attributed to Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. It was widely spread through articles, compilations, posters and email chain letters, mainly in Spanish.
Spanish versions, with some variations, consist of a first person narrated poem about an 85 year old person who regrets not having enjoyed some simple pleasures during his life and instead having focused on safety and correctness.
The vocabulary, syntax and style do not match those of Borges.
(2) Another English version, attributed to one Nadine Stair or Nadine Strain, starts:
If I Had My Life to Live Over I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
This is a great poem, with several varying translations. Like you I was trying to track down the owner. Many versions leave off your last couple of lines.