Another year has come and gone, and I feel fine. Better than fine actually. The big 52 was reached without incident, and despite all statistical data for young black boys who grew up the way that I did, I survived. My brother and I joke about living on borrowed time, but no matter, it is our time and reaching my 50’s has not been such a bad journey. I still feel that I know very little about life and the world, but what I do know and have come to realize, is that humankind is still the same base animal that it has always been. Our technology and accomplishments don’t mean anything in the great scheme of things. Why, you ask? Well all it takes is to consider where we are in History, and that’s History just here in the United States and not even around the world. On a daily basis we are faced with, mass inequality and a lack of compassion for others. Our leaders protect fanaticism and pseudo patriots that we once Historically denounced. We condemn other nations and engage in resource grabs for our on betterment, and shroud it under the name of betterment for all of humankind. We protect the strong, belittle the weak and crush, without fail, any opposing thought, especially if it means defending those who have little or nothing to help them sustain a livable life. But I’m ranting, and that’s not the intent of this post. Plus, my writing time doesn’t allow for me to seek out substantiation of these claims, because I’m just expressing an opinion, and like evacuation ports that resemble the opening of a tightly clinched fists, everyone has one. This birthday shouldn’t have been any more special than others, but it definitely was, and I owe that to family and friends. I started the day by playing a little tennis and then returning home to sit in front of the Tele with my guitar in hand, practicing some things I need to work on. Later in the day, I found out that my wife was able to invite some folks to the house for a birthday dinner without my knowing it, and the surprise on my face must have said it all. We drank and talked and discussed things that my friends and I always seem to be discussing. The misguided notion of Race, the status of Flamenco, Tennis, Music, Literature, and all things that make up who I have become. The best thing about it was having my “Baby Girl” there, who is 13 and going on 50, express her self among all of us and the nature of her life. It was a good time. My 21 year old kept quiet, but I could see in her movement and gestures, that she was taking everything in and doing what I sometimes do, keep quiet. One of my friends commented on the nature of the ambiance, and how it summed up what he felt made up who I am. Conversations were had in Farsi, Spanish, and English. We laughed and drank and joked about life and the nature of things. A good time was had by all, but especially me, and during it all, I couldn’t help but find myself marking down the days… considering my own mortality, wondering when I would slip into the ether and leave this world. It wasn’t in a depressing way, and instead I welcomed it. I had a friend of mine pass away this year. A guy I played tennis with, who was by all practical purposes, in far better shape than I, and who seemed to be taking much better care of himself than I do. In addition, my beloved Father-in-Law, passed away, so my considering my own mortality was not something morbid at all, at least not in the typical sense. The pain in the passing of my Tennis partner took on the form of shock, because he was only 54 and well of course, in comparing his mortality to my home, you can see the relevance. The pain in considering the passing of my Father-in-Law is more on a personal level obviously, but it hurts because my wife wasn’t able to be present when he passed and as much as that pain may hurt her, it hurts me as well. Either way, much of that is why I went down that path of thinking own the day of my birth.
Well that’s about it for my Birthday thoughts and musings. It was pleasant and more than I could have wished for. I spent time with friends and family. Had great conversation, food and drink, and went to bed happy and content, not afraid of not making it to another day, because up until now, I truly have lived and have remembrances from others as proof of that.