Saturday, March 10, 2018

perforce, a birthday

Somewhat sheepishly, I will try to acknowledge one of my Post-it life-footnotes: If you do not acknowledge milestones and markers as they pass, those milestones and markers are likely to come around and bite you on the ass.

And it is with that in mind that I acknowledge my birthday that passed by yesterday. It was attended by several cards from friends who are more attentive than I (that's the sheepish part ... I seldom send cards though I am willing to acknowledge ... assuming I remember) and seem willing to remember. What is it about me that is worth remembering? Sometimes I know, but more often, I don't. I do hope a few kindnesses can outshine the cruelties I fear predominate.

OK -- 78th birthday. Year 79 begins. Friends send cards. Children phone-wish me a happy-birthday-pop. No one asks me what I want for my birthday. At my age, the answer is presumed to be "nothing," but that's not quite true. Right, I don't want a tie or socks or other neutral gadgetry. But if anyone had asked, I would have said promptly: "A cook." I am sick of cooking dinners ... of thinking through the menu, of executing so much as a hamburger. I'd like someone else's imagination to forecast and produce. Late afternoons are a time when I segue into lassitude. I don't like cooking and I don't like interrupting a good bit of lassitude. Lolling is important, imagining takes energy ... yes, a cook with his or her own perspective (skip the fish, add some weird flavors) on something good. Oh well, another time, perhaps.

One of the cards I got came from someone who did not sign it. "Always an admirer" it said in a very precise, mildly-wobbly and minuscule script. And then the PS, "Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?" from François Villon. A mystery card whose mystery I cannot solve, however much I might want to ... which is not a lot. At my advanced age, mysteries strike me as important markers that deserve breathing room rather than solutions.

Thanks for what I know.

Thanks for what I don't.

And if I ever receive another cereal-box decoder ring, and if by chance it coughs up the meaning of all things, I'll let you know. The first decoder ring I got was lost in the shuffle of becoming 78.

1 comment:

  1. I have enough trouble remembering what today is, much less "special" days.