I was once at a Neo-Pagan gathering where there was a guy offering to tell you what you were in your last life.
I was there with a girlfriend of mine, and I let her go first.
They went under a tree where I couldn't hear them and he told her she had been an Egyptian palm-frond waver.
Then he asked her what she thought she had been. She said, a Mountain Man.
Next, it was my turn. He told me I had been a Mountain Man.
A Mountain Man?, I thought. At least let me have been a mountain goat! Sheesh.
Anyway, I myself used to think I must have been a horse thief in my last life, because I can't stand things tight around my neck. Not t-shirts, not short necklaces.
Whenever I get a t-shirt I like, I take the collar off and hem it so it's larger in diameter.
This is the shirt I wear in my yoga class. I took off the sleeves and made it into a tank top while I was at it.
When I tell people the story of being a horse-thief, I put on a western drawl and say:
"In my las' life, I's a blacksmith's apprennice in Old Dodge City. And not just any apprennice, but a butt-ugly apprennice. They usta call me 'horse-face Hank'.
'Hey, lookee who's a comin' yonder', they'd say, 'Ol' horseeface Hank. Got yer poker there, horsee? Yer face is all a-covered wi' smudge. Good thing, you cover up that ugly horsee face there. You picked a good occeepayshun for a horseeface!'
Well, you can't go around being called that all the time without it 'fectin' you.
There I was being called a horseeface all the time and I couldn't even afford me a horse. So I stoled me one.
In fact, I got lucky at it and stoled me a whole bunch'um. Did right well for a bit. But then Lady Luck left me for 'nother, and I gotted me caught. Hanged me they did, hanged me quick 'n' high.
And that's why I cain't stand nuthin' tight around me neck, not even now, a whole 'nother lifetime later."
However, recent events have made me rethink my position,
and now I am convinced I was a frog in my last life. Here's my evidence:
First of all, I can sleep and sleep when it's cold out. I get so I can hardly move, and just burrow deep under my blankets and forget the world until the weather improves and it's warm again.
My next bit of evidence is what I go through every week in yoga class.
This is my instructor yelling at me:
"Straighten your legs, there, Dawnie! I know you can do better! Up and straight! Straight and out! Onward and upward! You can do it!"
"They are straight," I'm thinking. "Aren't they? I can't see them! They're behind me! My glasses are off! My eyes are filled with sweat! I feel like they're straight!"
But then again, I feel rather graceful in some of the poses, till I get a peek at myself in the mirror.
I try not to look in it very often.
Here's how I see myself:
Here's how I really look:
How'd we end up in my yoga class? Now we're stuck here for 90 minutes.
Here's the lady who stands in class next to me doing the Downward Newt.
She is a vision of grace and poise:
Sometimes my ferret Dipsy comes along, and here he is doing Cobra pose:
Here's me doing the Upward Otter, Bending Kneecrackle, Smell My Toes, and Tree poses.
My instructor calls this one Awkward Pose. I call it Public Toilet Seat Pose:
Now where was I. Oh yeah. So I'm thinking my legs are straight when they're not.
I'll bet this frog thinks his legs are straight. He's a frog! That's the best he can do!
And that's the best I can do. I think my legs are straight and they're not. Just like a frog.
[Look, he's wearing my blue and brown yoga shirt!]
My third piece of evidence that I was a frog in my last life is my singing voice.
Here's my rendition of the star spangled banner:
The next part of my theory involves my feelings about metamorphosis.
Frog metamorphosis is so utterly dramatic that it kind of freaks me out.
I mean, we're not just talking about losing a few gills and having your skin get a bit warty.
We're talking about losing a tail, getting gigantic hopping legs,
and your whole digestive system going from vegetarian to carnivore.
When it happened to me in my frog life, it must have been so traumatic that it makes me shudder to this day. I wonder if that was in the old days, when it was considered improper to talk about the facts of life.
You know what I'm talking about, ladies. My mother tells me about how it was for her "becoming a woman" with no forewarning, one day she woke up and thought she was bleeding to death.
Well, just imagine being a tender little tadpole and one day you wake up with this leg sprouting out of your side, or you wake up and your tail has fallen off. Imagine how you'd freak out if you hadn't known it was coming!
To continue with my similarity to a frog. My skin looks pretty similar to the skin on my friend Frieda Froggy, who lives in my backyard pond:
And just like Frieda Froggy, I like hanging out on my patio too!
So there you have it. In my last life, I was a frog. Are you convinced?
Take your time. Meditate on it!
(1) "Downward Newt": Image courtesy of my fellow salamander aficionado, Jennewt. Used with permission. Thanks bunches!
(2) Blue and Brown Frog: Image courtesy of another [there are HUNDREDS of us!] fellow salamander aficionado, Mark A-T. Used with permission. Thanks, you're a pal!
For more of my silly blog stories, click on "older post" below!