Would you do it again?

Many of us have seen Thorton Wilder’s play Our Town, in which a girl, now deceased, is given the option to repeat any one day of her life. Of course the “gotcha” is that the experience of reliving an ordinary day proves to be emotionally unbearable. From her rather unusual perspective, each moment of that day – which seems so banal to everyone else living it – is filled with overwhelming pathos.

Looking back on particularly wonderful moments in my life, days that I have ended up remembering for years afterward, I don’t think I generally realized how extraordinary those moments were while they were happening. Sometimes a quiet conversation, a simple moment of connection, has, over time, become one of my most cherished memories. This can be particularly true in cases where I later ended up losing my connection with that person.

We are used to experiencing treasured works of art more than once. We might hear a favourite song hundreds of times and never grow tired of it. We can experience some books or films over and over again, and they only grow better each time (I don’t believe I could ever grow tired of certain films, including Casablanca and Annie Hall, and I see something new and surprising every time I watch them).

Today I saw several of my favourite sculptures at the Metropolitan Musum of Art, and I felt a complete thrill at the sight, even though I have seen each of those same sculptures many times before. And I remember having felt that same thrill, that same feeling of my heart leaping up at the beauty of these sculptures, when I saw them years ago. This particular feeling is something that always seems to connect me with who I have been at different times in my life.

But perhaps Thorton Wilder was right. Perhaps reality itself is too precious, too intense for such reenactments. An important conversation, a meal that you’ve shared, that first quiet chat with somebody who has become precious in your life – that one afternoon you spent wandering around an old church in France, just talking, with a cherished and now lost friend from India. Even if we could somehow go back and experience such things again, should we?

If you’ve spent a perfect day, would you do it again?

One Response to “Would you do it again?”

  1. Zabador says:

    Yep… even an imperfect day. It just needs to be a good one 😉

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