Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Birthday Dec. 21

Today is my birthday. I share this birthday with Jane Fonda, Joe Paterno, Joseph Stalin, Phil Donahue, and Frank Zappa, to name a few.

That we were all born on the shortest day of the year, the first day of winter, the winter Solstice, with all its ancient and Druidic, pagan, and festival notions, always struck me as a nice coincidence. All these associations give it a special flavor -- I'm sure that somewhere in the distant past, various vicious tortures and sacrificial killings of goats, dogs, snakes, servants, and slaves all made this such a special day.

Now it all blends in with the various religious traditions and holidays, Christmas, Hannukuh, Kwanzaa, and Walmart Day.

I appreciate the notes and cards from my family reminding me of the cruel and relentless passage of time. I wrote a poem not too long ago about living my life in the small bittersweet area between hope and memory. Here we go again.

So here's to the memory and hope I have on this winter solstice day I share with the above mentioned lot.

In reference to my finally getting that under par round of golf last week to keep the streak alive at 30 or so years and counting, my brother wished that I have many more sub-par years.

Thanks a lot! Just what I need -- a bunch more sub-par years.

For some reason I like sharing this day with Frank Zappa and Jane Fonda the most. Joe Paterno and Joseph Stalin are more of a curiosity. I'm pretty neutral about Phil Donahue.

Frank Zappa's band does a nice version of Ravel's Bolero, by the way. And the Leningrad Cowboys do some nice Cossack versions of western rock and roll.

Don't send me presents.