My twenty-one-year-old self looks down on me, watching from the wall across from my bed, as I sleep and waken, follows me around the room, leaning out from her canvas home, curious and enigmatic. I wonder sometimes what she thinks of the life I have made in the forty-six years since she was painted, a time and a life committed by brush, oils and skill to be a wedding present from my father, when according to him at the time I looked like everyone and no one, too young with too little of life lived to make my features have the unique signature of self only time can grant. Sitting here with her looking down on me now, on the anniversary of that marriage which failed after a quarter century, I wonder what will happen to her when I am gone, I who leave no descendants, no one who would want a portrait of me; but I shelve these musings choosing instead to wonder about the life I’d be living now had I not changed my name, not been divorced two times, gone to university at eighteen instead of thirty-five, not answered the call to leave the religion of my birth as well at its country. For I can see shadows of those other lives lived surely in other places, and perhaps on other planes, from that which I inhabit now, lives with descendants perhaps to carry her forth along with my genetics. I look at her watching me perceiving no judgement sensing no disappointment, feeling no regret, rather there is acceptance, without resignation and the acknowledgement life has its twists and turns, that there are eddies and still pools in the flow of time as well as raging torrents pushing one onward, for the trajectory of being is complex, and the algebra of the heart and the trigonometry of the soul remain mysterious. What I make of the life I have created for myself by the paths I have taken, the doors I have either entered or closed, the decisions and choices I have made, whether with my heart or with my head, whether wise or foolish, each have led me here to a place my twenty-one-year-old self there and then could never have imagined, where my sixty-seven-year-old self here and now can have a silent conversation with her, with that me, any time that I desire, and in those moments find a sense of continuity transcending there and then, where place and time no longer matter for in the flow of being all are one.