ABOUT THAT BIRTHDAY…

“Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.” – Truman Capote

 Managed to survive another birthday, another year. And thanks to an idiosyncratic (and that is my highest of compliments) array of family and friends…and being alive it was quite a nice day. May I share a few highlights?

First of all I do love those Facebook birthday greetings…and every year vow to check in on a daily basis so I don’t miss a friend’s…then I don’t…but happy birthday to all I missed last year and I’ll do better this year! Because I so much enjoy your greetings to me. Seriously—it is a lovely warm and fuzzy feeling even you’re a curmudgeonly crone like me. THANK YOU ALL.

And then there are the many of you who called and SANG happy birthday to me. Who knew I had so many friends with interesting voices. Actually my daughter in law was first and she played the guitar as well; then my friend Jess who not only played the guitar but added her toddler daughter as performer. The rest of you were beautiful but without the guitar and baby it didn’t quite have the same impact (just kidding). SO THANK YOU ALL ALSO. (But perhaps you could take up a musical instrument this year…because I am in isolation and determined to do it all over again in 2021). And thanks to my sons who ordered a thermometer and masks and took a distanced walk with me.

And finally, to the sweet cards and pretty little gifts some of you dropped on my front step. Virus-free of course. They were kind and lovely as were the park photos. Here’s a photo of the cards and the poem my cousin Arne in Norway shared. It is lovely, from one of my favorite poets, and doubly pertinent.

Spring and All [By the road to the contagious hospital]

William Carlos Williams – 1883-1963

***

By the road to the contagious hospital

under the surge of the blue

mottled clouds driven from the

northeast – a cold wind. Beyond, the

waste of broad, muddy fields

brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

 

patches of standing water

the scattering of tall trees

 

All along the road the reddish

purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy

stuff of bushes and small trees

with dead, brown leaves under them

leafless vines-

 

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish

dazed spring approaches-

 

They enter the new world naked,

cold, uncertain of all

save that they enter. All about them

the cold, familiar wind-

 

Now the grass, tomorrow

the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined-

It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

 

But now the stark dignity of

entrance – Still, the profound change

has come upon them: rooted, they

grip down and begin to awaken

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