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Ann Cannon: Is change a losing proposition?

First Published      Last Updated Sep 15 2015 07:52 pm

Is it possible for people to change?

I ask this question because of a realization I had the other day while looking for my gray sweater.

But before I tell you about it, you should know that I was the kind of kid who always lost things. Library books. Lunch money. Articles of clothing. Homework. Notes from teachers. I just left myself hither and yon, coming and going, all over Utah Valley.

About the only thing I never lost was food, because you know. It was food.

I drove my parents crazy, and unbeknownst to me at the time, they used to lay bets on whether I'd return home with the stuff I'd carried out the front door earlier in the day.

Hey, thanks for the vote of confidence, Parents!

Anyway, a few years ago I went to a psychic who told me (a) I've had many previous lives and (b) I have always been the same person in all of those previous lives. She wasn't specific, so I tried to imagine for myself what all those lives must have looked like.

Prehistoric Me: I live somewhere in central France with my husband and our three (surviving) children. None of us has teeth. But that's not the point. My husband paints cave walls for a living. He's mostly happy in his job, but sometimes he complains. "Bison, bison, bison. That's all people want me to paint these days. What I wouldn't give to paint a horse now and then." Meanwhile I have misplaced my club.

"Has anybody seen my club?" I ask.

Medieval Me: I live in a nunnery in Flanders where I spend my day doing embroidery, making lace collars for rich merchants' wives and praying — that is when I can find my rosary.

"Has anybody seen my rosary?" I ask.

Hawaiian Me: I live in the islands shortly before Captain Cook shows up and ruins all the reindeer games by giving us diseases. Hey, thanks for that, Captain Cook! In spite of the diseases, this is my favorite lifetime by far because you know. Sea! Sand! Sun! Too bad I can't remember where I parked my outrigger canoe.

"Has anybody seen my canoe?" I ask.

Revolutionary War Me: Somehow I wind up in the American colonies, fighting against the British who want to tax my tea because you know how the British are — always taxing other people's tea whenever they feel like it. It's a dodgy dangerous lifetime, mostly because I can't find my musket.

"Has anybody seen my musket?" I ask.

Pioneer Me: I decide to trek across the plains with the Mormons to Utah, and along the way I sing as I walk and walk and walk. I had a covered wagon at one time, which would have eliminated the necessity for all that walking. But somehow I lost my ox.

"Has anybody seen my ox?" I ask.

New York Me: It's the 1950s. I'm in a gang called the Jets. My gang likes to wear tight pants and have dance-offs with a rival gang called the Sharks. The only problem is that sometimes I can't find my tight pants.

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