Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Birth Day

Birth day. Day to celebrate being born. I think it a little ridiculous--this celebrating of one's birth--celebrate my mother instead [appropriately we toasted her with margaritas]. She's the one who laboured and pushed me through the birth canal and witnessed my first breaths, my father waiting outside the delivery room this being the hospital way in 1970. But in a small sense a birthday does please my inner socialist and me. Everyone has one--a birthday, that is. The great leveler no matter the tricky circumstances later--the ones involving money, love, opportunity. Money and love. All born.

As far as birthdays go, I had a good one this year. People I love rung me or wrote to me. My sister sent a gift via FedEx, an unusual action for her, and I found it waiting next to cartons of milk at my back door. My dad left a singing message. He has not sung to me before in any capacity as far as I can remember. 35 years to realize that my dad can carry a tune. Actually, he can more than carry a tune.

Gifts embarrass me, but who doesn't like them? Especially good ones--like hand-knit striped socks, which I am wearing right now as the thermometer reads 81. They fit like a glove, like gloves for feet. And I am pleased to now own a woman and her savages, along with swimming tiger and bear--in technicolor. And reading material, lots of it, read and passed along because she thought that I would enjoy it. And how could I not with titles such as Bitch and Bust and Ms. and A Bell Ringing in the Empty Sky? Another book--A Shadow Born of Earth--from the givers of the socks. Because I like photography. And the possibility of reading in English or Spanish. I received hugs, and I mean real hugs, from a baby. Uncommon flowers at table--sent to surprise. A pen and ink sketch from a sketchbook and a handmade card that shows girl celebrating in a dotted skirt very much like one that I own. Also good--a husband's flower arrangement from garden and secured babysitting. Visit from baby and aunt and more flowers. Flowers from gardens. Looking forward to breakfast on Saturday morning. Sitting next to my four-year-old, our bedroom in late afternoon where the light is best and talking about the day of her birth, what it was like and why. Sweet Jane being sung by DK, a sweet thing.

As long as people celebrate days of birth. And they always will, I think, I am going to try to see it from his point of view. Why not let it be the coming together of people to celebrate a person, whatever it is that those people find worth celebrating? Maybe it's not much or maybe it's a lot. Depends on whom you ask and when you ask them. But I do know this. It feels good that people made time and effort to celebrate my mother's labours and me--in all of the ways that I have described. These things matter.

To all of you. I take notice. All of it matters. Even you who might not want it to matter, two, namely. You matter. All of you. It all matters. And the love that I have for the people I love.

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