The Life I Wish I’d Had

Lies I’d Like to Tell About Myself

It’s like the dedications in all those books: to my mother who was the nurturing, supportive inspiration behind it all. That was my mom: soft-spoken and loving to the end. She encouraged me early on in my musical talent; she knew I adored the piano and saw to it that I had lessons so that my passion could flourish.

I travelled for years before I went to college. I learned 5 languages effortlessly and felt at home in a thousand different places on this green green planet. I studied botany and herbology with plant shamans in Africa. I swam with dolphins in Tahiti. The natives offered me a hut to live in for many months because my presence had such a beneficial, raining-down abundant effect on the fishes that surrendered their lives to be caught.

I travelled to Russia to find the village my ancestors lived in, but I could not find it. Just the barest outlines of a small town remained after the Holocaust, but it was close to the sea and I saw my grandmother swimming there as a very young girl.

I have lived alone in silence for one full year, living off of my garden and the wild herbs I gathered.

I have walked the entire Pacific coast from Gold beach in Oregon to Big Sur in California, hitching rides occasionally, relishing the two hundred varieties of clam chowder that the small seaside shacks regularly serve up.

I have had a wolf hybrid for a pet. I have given birth to three children and nursed many more. I have helped women in labor and old people dying. I am building a yurt to live in when I am old.

I have studied with Sufi masters and danced until I have swooned in ecstasy. I have loved vodka as much as psilocybin. I look forward to a time when my life is such that I can live off what I make as a gypsy weaver of tales. I have lived with the gypsies and have been sworn to secrecy by them. The secret to their survival over centuries shall go with me to the grave.

–Nancy London

Tell me all the lies you would like to be able to tell about yourself. Invent for us the life you wish you’d had.

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