I remember that first time we had tea together and we talked and talked as our daughters played. It was so easy for me to tell you that I had been recently separated and all the hard things around it. You have such a peace and warmth about you. You listened and asked so respectfully. I never gave away anything in those early days but with you I could open up so easily.
You were my safe place.
Saturday night we celebrated your birthday and I was thinking about how important this safe place is always for all of us. It is obvious to say we need it when things are hard but a safe place makes even smooth sailing a comfort. It can help us fly higher when times are good or take us in when things are unbearable.
A safe place has absence of malice and gossip. There is no search for the headline, no need to make the individual feel better at the cost of your own misery. A safe place can be where we can put our fears and our hopes. It is a place to run to, a place to hide, at times, a place that is so good to us we find we can return to the hardship ready and strong. Safe place is confident and peaceful. It is human with no delusions about one’s own life and the struggle we all have. They listen with wise ears and perspective.
Happy Birthday, safe place.
I went to visit my dad the other day and they happen to be celebrating Robbie Burns day. Some of these celebrations are hard to bear. The volunteers trying so hard and the crumpled bodies unenthused and their quiet and disconnection so loud and clear.
This event was quite animated actually. Some of the residents got dressed up in tartans and tams and there was a parade on the main floor. The woman in this picture, very dressed up, had the honour of presenting the Hagis.
Out of the corner of my eye I see an old friend pushing her dad in his wheelchair. I have not seen her in several years. We were friends, full of hope and excitement, when our babies were in diapers.
Now we reconnect. With our fathers in diapers. We both swallow hard at the poetry of it. Heads tilted, eyes filled, all pretence, pride and edge fall away.
As a kid I loved my birthday, like all children. I then hit a 20 year gap where I was not that keen on my birthday. I did not like the attention and did not know how to respond to it. Now I have reverted back to liking, okay loving, my birthday. The reasons are easy to come to-
-I get it finally. enter site
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Life is short. We must celebrate everything including the ability and privilege to age.
-Everyone is concerned with themselves. It is survival. For a day or a moment, if someone wants it to be about me- I let it be. How generous of me, right?
-There is only one of each of us. In many ways we are similar and in many we are unique. If I have made a difference to you and you want to show me or tell me- the only day you might think to is my birthday. If you are really aware of the passage of time, you will let me know all year. This is the way I try to play and if you want to play that way with me- I must allow it and encourage it.
-Time marches ahead whether we like it or not. Today I am younger and less dead than I will be tomorrow. Let’s celebrate.
– In a short time I will be 50. That is shocking and weird and maybe even offensive. But whatever. I use that looming number as a call to urgency-
GET IT DONE. SAY IT NOW. CHANGE IT OR LOVE IT.
I have a snapshot of me at 50 in my head and it looks a certain way. I am motivated to work to that.But in the meantime, let’s celebrate.
-At 80, I will remember the delight of 48. I will not mourn that I did not wear it short, call a spade a spade, push it, feel it, fall flat on my face, make it beautiful, say what I mean and mean what I say. Won’t I feel so good at 80 if I ADORE 48?
let the games begin
Tomorrow it will be about you, after all.
(The two pictures here are of two b day gifts I have received this week on my doorstep- one practical and one romantic- I love both- both had me and my “needs” in mind)