Meditation On My Birthday

Meditation on My Birthday 

I am sixty-six today and my chest tingles with that sensation that means the words must out. Something wants to be in this world, some thought or sentiment previously unexpressed pushes for itself because every time we speak, every time we write, the words fall themselves toward a pattern never before manifest. We live in this miracle every day. Let me share with you what today’s words need to express.

I am sixty-six and have successfully avoided success with its excess of things, its game of envy, the heavy weight of owning objects identifiable by everyone else; instead, the unique eruptions of what I own fomented from the strictures of my heart. Where I could not help but love, and work, and sweat, and worry, material world responded to my attentiveness. My glorious child, now a mature adult, with the required amount of discontent and as yet unrealized goals, his wife and two flames of delight and surprise my grandkids; my beautiful, humble, small home where, from the windows, I see trees, and sky and oceans of clouds, all these and more rose from the great silence behind all things, the great invisibility that keeps all things until the right moment for their arrival in form. Had I set out to attain them their form would be different, perhaps compromised and so I celebrate the beauty and power of what has arisen despite my inadequacies.

My home opens daily to the riches of life in nature, in seasons and my home birthed a stone terrace spontaneously, as magnificent a structure as the palazzos in Italy and every bit as stunning. This magnificent oddity eclipsed my conscious intent and rational thought to rise like Botticelli’s Venus on the shores of the lake I call mine.

I am sixty-six today and have easily outrun fame. I walked out that door, leaving that singular persona, same every day personality, same as everyone else cookie cutter psychic cluster demanded of anyone claiming fame. For whoever makes us famous, throttles us, chains us, demands performance in more ways than I am prepared to play. I celebrate my lack of fame with the resulting freedom to frame any moment, any word, any breath with my twin, the great liberator, Death.

I am anything because Death owns me. Always has. 

At sixty-six, I have escaped the darkest parts of life, narrowly and have still a profound sense of the mystery of men and women.  I have not lived decades in the same marriage and the combustion caused by my tempestuous emotions ignited more than one star—although the men involved may point upwards to a black hole.

I am sixty-six today and have claimed the liberty of work, my work, by drinking from the cup of sorrow, sadness, bitter grief, loss offered by others who visit me. I drink deeply to know the one taste of salt in all life. Having reduced the salt in my own, I must have this life balancing element from the darkness of the stories of others to recall how salt’s acid burns away the frivolous and shallow, deepens the etches of having lived, once, this glorious experience.

I am sixty-six and still the child in me tugs towards the dolphins, the oceans of the world, skips hearing the news of Benoit Mandlebrot that we dance in the field of infinity, his presence of mind as wide as Rumi’s meadows.

I am sixty-six and curious about almost everything, humbled by how little I still know, grateful to have survived the harsh certainty of my earlier years when life demanded, and when I believed I had, answers.

Now, I mumble frequently and resort always to simple phrases that wish others well. May you be healthy. May you be happy. May you be glad of this day, this moment, as I am, may you be. 

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