The man stared weary ‘cross the valley
o’er all that he had wrought,
what he had yet still to do,
and felt a yawning despair overtake him.
Forty-five years, eh? Malformed though I am, I somehow surpassed my expectations to reach this point, and it’s certainly been an interesting life thus far. College, marriage, a few books, and perhaps even the pinnacle of my career, and then what? Who can say.
To the well-wishers, I thank you. You are more benevolent than I could ever deserve, and yet there you are all the same. The cards, the calls, the memories, the messages of all description through varying platforms, computerized and less so. It’s these that bring a tinge of joy on a day that, had I not happened to be born upon it, would be just like any other. May you bestow these tributes to friends unending for many years to come.
For those who have inquired: no, I made no special plans. But to take a week of respite and perhaps tempt fate with a treat or two, I’ve never been one for celebration. If you still must honor me with some manner of gift, pay a kindness of your own discretion. Give to a food bank, donate to a local animal shelter, or even rescue one of its inhabitants. I have little to no material wants, so please lend to those without instead. It isn’t my day or week or month, just some time where I happen to overlap in cosmic insignificance.
My melancholic nature requires only quiet, a long walk in the sun, and a period of seclusion. Where I can reminisce, where the tumult has died away, where the infinite raging of my harried mind can expend its energies until it is both satisfied and exhausted. Maybe an impossible dream, but one I’ll endeavor to embody in good time.
For what is a birthday but a time to look upon your life? Taking measure, making plans, counting blessings, moving on. It’s a responsible I embrace freely, come good or ill. Here’s to 45 more!