So birthdays are fun. When we were teacher interns and grad school colleagues, my friend Janelle and I played a birthday game that consisted of reminding our colleagues of how many shopping days remained until our birthdays. I am sure everyone thought it was positively darling.
Ours were conveniently about six months apart, so we could spend much of the year in birthday reminders. I was embarrassingly old when this happened (it’s never too late to have a happy childhood, right?). Besides, it felt like we were celebrating all the time. What a happy epoch of my life! To my mind, we are never too old to enjoy a birthday.
Even today — this whole weekend, really, I had a fantastic time of it. I celebrated and expended more energy than I remember having done in a long, long time. Lunch out with Marvelous Melanie on Friday, then dinner out with John, Foster, and Katherine old, dear friends, close to my heart. Saturday was lunch with my angelic Mom and Nathan, Greg and the boys. I spent so many moments looking at them and thinking that without them around me so much, I would be less of a human being. Meeting up involved an hour-long car trip, for which my angelic Mom had prepared a blanket and pillow in the back seat so that I could sleep both ways. I took full advantage, too, because I was tired — and I had to rest for today’s event, the monthly Salon I hold, which took the form of a birthday party as well. I got up and made appetizers today as well (cooking makes my legs take the shape of tree trunks, but I didn’t care).
Then four friends came over. Carlos presented Pedro Almodovar’s films. We ate a lot. Melanie made (and framed) a fantastic picture of a crown, for me, a princess — so appropriate! And Carlos & Bob brought me a really groovy silver briefcase, and inside it was a box set of Mr. Magoo cartoons. We watched some of them and they are so wonderfully politically incorrect. And Randi gave me a book about erotic art (perfect for a person who set a theme of sex and the body for this year’s Salons). I’m not saying that the party was all about the gifts, but it was fun.
I am leaving out the list of presents from other friends and family…but they were great too.
I didn’t think much about it until now that, if Dr. Lunkhead were truly correct, this day could be the beginning of my last year on the planet. Day 365.
Eat, drink, and play,
While here you may;
For soon as death
Has stopp’d your breath
Ye ne’er shall see a cheerful day.
From Ecclesiastes 8:15 Clarke’s Commentary of the Bible
My intention for this year is to eat, drink, and play, to paint, and to write like a fiend. I want to make the world around me beautiful and to really enjoy what I do. I want to love the people I do it with, to push the sick feelings out of the way, so that I can make each day exquisite. Every day I do all of this, I will get stronger and better at it and more resolved to prove Dr. Lunkhead wrong. I have five books in my head. These will take time. Thus, more birthdays to come. Many more. Get ready.