I tried an experiment today.
I was thinking about my birthday, which occurred recently but which was celebrated over a series of days:
1. The day on which friends can come to celebrate with me, due to work schedules.
2. The day on which the birth occurred.
3. The day(s) on which gifts arrived, thanks to the vagaries of preferred mail delivery systems and/or my own personal failing, that of thinking of the person for many days around the birthday but only actually visiting her Amazon wish list on the actual day (which makes me happy, personally, because it is digital proof that someone was thinking of me on the very day that was my birthday).*
4. The days on which family members call, purportedly to wish me a happy birthday (okay, that’s mean–I’m sure the wishes were in fact well-meant and loving) but, it turns out, also slyly timed in order for each person to try to ascertain exactly how old I am because none of them can remember. **
5. The days in between.
This is a thickly layered birthday experience. Much like phyllo dough, it appears to be uniform until you bite into it, at which time, in the midst of all those bits falling on you, you realize that there are many, many tiny pockets of birthday experience. There was this:
Which is awesome friends signing out my age in Roman Numerals. They’re flashing signs in a good way.
There was Thai food, as there should be.
There was a 6am phone call from my brother, defending my age to no one in particular. “Yeah, I told her you weren’t 39. See how much I love you?”
There was metaphysical analysis.
See, I seem to be genetically conditioned to seek out natural boundaries. I love anniversaries, birthdays, equinoxes and solstices, anything that helps to create a digital pattern from an analog situation. Birthdays are a natural, of course, and better than New Year’s Day resolutions because they are so personal. So this year got me to thinking: Am I...
Here is where I could type out my Dark Thoughts, which to anyone but me would effectively be navel-gazing and as such fairly unflattering. Let us just say that I have two demons who sit on my shoulder and overanalyze most of what I do. You probably have them, too, or a variety of such. I hear they have a union. Sucks to pay cretins who deride me so. Yet I do, because boy, they siphon energy like a long run of bad TV. I decided today to pretend I don’t have them, which is a big Fib, but you know, as an experiment.
I visited a friend, whom I admire quite a lot for qualities I wish I had myself, but I will not list them because they will inevitably identify her and then I will be Cast Out of Society Forever. I decided to leave my demons at home. I didn’t do any special therapy, I just decided to leave them at home. What if I didn’t feel this way, what if I didn’t have these overriding squirrely worms coming out my eyes, what could I see?
It was awesome. I enjoyed the experience a whole lot. My friend, it seems, really is amazing. ***
Leaving them at home certainly leaves a lot more energy for getting back to Embracing. It also leaves up a lot of space for being creative every day, which I’d vowed to do and was doing, more or less, but with rather the feeling like it was play work and I had better things to do. When I allowed that feeling to creep in, less was done.
I wonder if it was a trick. Maybe my demons decided to pretend to be nice and give me a twisted birthday gift. Maybe I can fool them into thinking it’s my birthday again. After all, they don’t seem all that intelligent and, well, some other people can’t remember what age I am…. If all it takes to shake them is to pretend to age a year every few days, I’ll be 54 next week. For a good cause.
*What is this kind of writing called? Where I move from first to third to perhaps second or maybe even fourth person all in the same sentence? Am I practicing some esoteric form of writing, like accidentally making a karate move, or am I just rambling? Probably the latter. Still, if there’s a name for it…
**Proof that I am, in fact, traveling in time. Boondock, here I come.
***This is not one of those times when “my friend” is really me.