Saturday in CinCity. The Pour Yourself a Drink, Put on Some Lipstick, and Pull Yourself Together Edition.
Well, I celebrated another birthday this week. In a little over a year I've lost some things: memory, a kidney stone I was apparently quite fond of, multiple phone chargers. One daughter has moved to the Big Easy and another to her first student apartment, neighbors have moved for various job transfers, and a best friend is gone, though the pain of her death has lessened a little.
I've gained. My cholesterol numbers should be my bowling score. Or, my IQ. Lots more aches in the mornings, but I'm going to blame the Lipitor and not my new Zumba class. More shoes. Two rooms on the attic floor to remodel. More time with my hubby. We walk a lot more. We argue a lot less.
A birthday around this time of year makes it easy to want to start a "new year" since autumn still feels like a time of beginnings with fresh pens and notebooks. My husband likes to announce that "this is the last roof we're ever going to replace" or "this is the last winter coat I'm going to buy so it has to last" as though the Grim Reaper is only blocks away from our front door. He means well and I love him for it. He wants to remind me to appreciate every day since the days ahead may be different. Emptier.
I'm reminded most days of the fragility of life and then again of the tenacity of the life source. The hardiness of the human spirit. The miracle and the tragedy that "life goes on." But, you know what they say. That's life.
by Dorothea Tanning
On one of those birthdays of which I've had so many
I was walking home through the park from a party,
pleased that I'd resisted mentioning the birthday—
why hear congratulations for doing nothing but live?
The birthday was my secret with myself and gave me,
walking under all those trees, such a strong feeling of
satisfaction that everything else fell away: party sounds,
the hostess who stared and as suddenly disappeared
on seeing her husband walk in with a young(er ) friend;
another guest examining garment labels in the room
where I went to leave my jacket; one of two waiters
balancing a trayful of foot-high champagne glasses;
a bee-like buzz of voices I ought to have enjoyed
but heard as foreign babble, so remote it was from
a birthday, so empty of import nothing would remain.
I got my jacket, waved from the hall, pressed Down.
In summer the park, for an hour or so before night,
is at its greenest, a whole implicit proposition
of green leaves, a triumph of leaves enfolding me
that day in a green intimacy so trustworthy I told
them my secret: "It's my birthday," I said out loud
before turning away to cross the avenue.
please note: title is courtesy of Elizabeth Taylor