if i could go anywhere

If I could go anywhere, I would go to Carmel, on the coast of California, in the year 1990. My family would be staying at a small condo by the beach. It would be foggy and misty. I would be six years old, and my mom would be turning 32. We would be there to celebrate her birthday, and I would be laughing and twirling and calling her an old lady.

I would then take my six-year-old self on a trip around the world. I’d stop in Delhi, Dhaka, Beijing, Tokyo . . . Manila, Sydney, Cape Town, Istanbul . . . Bucharest, Athens, Rome, Lisbon . . . Moscow, Santiago, Pell City, Montreal . . .

I would have the ability to be invisible when I wanted to — so I could just SEE.

I would be able to look at the world through the eyes of a six-year-old and a near thirty-year-old simultaneously.

I would tell her that 32 isn’t so old, after all (ten days ’til 30!), but I would thank her, too. For it is only through the eyes of a child that we can really identify what’s wrong with the world, and, more importantly, how to fix it.


Old woman scowling —
cyclist riding by.
Does she know how soft I am?
How high my heart can fly?

Cold cyclist growling —
drivers flying by.
Do I know the love they hold?
The dreams that make them sigh?

Image: Google

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22 thoughts

    • Glad you liked the poem, Vance. I ALMOST deleted it. Was still contemplating it when I saw your comment. I wasn’t sure how it fit, and yet, it did…

      I hope 30-32-36 isn’t old. Every year goes by faster!

  1. Jess,

    That is a wonderful poem and list of destinations to travel, and through the eyes of a 6-yr old with the brain of a 30-yr old is PERFECT! Children often see the world as it is, not as it should be, huh?

    LOVE IT! :-)

    • So glad you like it, Professor! I came up with it as I rode past a scowling white-haired woman last night… I just think it’d be interesting to be able to look back on our child mind’s — to see the world the way they do — while also keeping the knowledge that we have now. Children are so simple and haven’t the life experience to become jaded, the way we often do as we get older. There is a lot of wisdom to be gained from children.

  2. You make me homesick. I lived 15 miles from the view you shared, but I graduated from Monterey High in ’64, gives me an entirely different perspective of old. I am not old at 68, but had I the chance to revisit the world at 6…I didn’t understand racial segregation in this country or aftermath of a devastating war on the rest of the world.
    To be six and innocent spoiled by the intellect of a 68 year old…I would marvel at how far we have come.

    • Monterey is a beautiful area. I don’t think anything is old anymore. When I marvel at how quickly the last thirty years have gone, it makes me realize how short life truly is. That’s a perspective no six-year-old could understand…

      That would have been a hard time to live through. I believe you’re right that we have come a long way in some ways in this country. Unfortunately, I still think we have a long way to go…

  3. Great idea and thought. Being able to revisit moments in the past would be incredible, but it is also very cool to think about those great moments and the happiness and excitement.

    Your last sentence “only through the eyes of a child that we can really identify what’s wrong with the world, and, more importantly, how to fix it.” captures the essence of Daoism, trying to get back to the mind of a child. :-)

    • Hmm… Yes. I don’t know. Children just see things so simply, without the filters we adopt as we grow older. I like the idea of being able to see many different parts of the world at a young age, too, because awareness and and acceptance of other cultures is SO important if we ever hope to, well, improve. Too many people NEVER gain that awareness… Too many people live in boxes their entire lives.

      I chose that memory because it’s one of my earliest childhood memories. And I do love mist and fog. :)

      • Nothing like mist & fog, especially for the imagination that we had as children. As you say, I guess I like the explorative nature of children…always asking why instead of rationalizing biased explanations.

  4. An awesome post, Jess! :)

    The idea of elder self communicating with younger self has always fascinated me. Deep, meaningful and innocent, at the same time. It makes an interesting read. It always does.

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