Je suis reconnaissant pour cette journée...

There was a time when I hated birthdays - the entire decade in my 40s was the worst - but I wasn't too keen on them in my 30s either.  Things shifted when I hit 50 - perhaps I quit taking myself quite so seriously or something - but as the Beatles' sang, "Its getting better all the time..." and I think that is true.

Today I turned 60 - à Montréal, ils disent: aujourd'hui, j'ai été 60 ans - and we did three of my all time favorite things:  first, we sat around drinking tea and talking throughout the morning; then we walked through one of our favorite neighborhoods (Rue St. Catherine) to a bookstore where we spent the afternoon browsing; only to close the day at a Middle Eastern eaterie called RUMI.  (My dear daughters got us a gift certificate because, as Di said, "What else could they give their Dad at 60 but a guest pass to RUMI?"  He being a favorite poet and all...)

i was ready to tell
the story of my life
but the ripple of tears
and the agony of my heart
wouldn't let me


i began to stutter
saying a word here and there
and all along i felt
as tender as a crystal
ready to be shattered


in this stormy sea
we call life
all the big ships
come apart
board by board


how can i survive
riding a lonely
little boat
with no oars
and no arms


my boat did finally break
by the waves
and i broke free
as i tied myself
to a single board


though the panic is gone
i am now offended
why should i be so helpless
rising with one wave
and falling with the next


i don't know
if i am
nonexistence
while i exist
but i know for sure


when i am
i am not
but
when i am not
then i am
now how can i be
a skeptic
about the
resurrection and
coming to life again


since in this world
i have many times
like my own imagination
died and
been born again


that is why
after a long agonizing life
as a hunter
i finally let go and got
hunted down and became free


It was a long schlep from the Metro stop - one of the things I enjoy most about Montreal is all the walking through different neighborhoods we get to do - but the humidity broke last night so it was sweet and we wound up in the Outremont area (for those Louise Perry/Inspector Gamache fans.)  After yet another two hour dinner, we walked to Les Thes David for some loose tea - and I found that they still stocked my all time favorite called chai citrouille (pumpkin chai.) 

Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday greetings throughout the day - it was very humbling - and I am touched by your love. As this day comes to an end, I am grateful to be alive...

Comments

ngillard said…
Hey, I am a one of your followers that never says a thing but am going to change that fact. Know you two are having a great time and I am so happy for you. Sante'!!! Enjoy.
RJ said…
Many thanks, my friend.

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