Yesterday, a long drive north to a book event in the Bay Area. Staying up until 4 A.M. to unwind and take care of miscellaneous stuff. Slept until 11 but by afternoon needing air and waves. Instead of heading home to work after errands, I bought a bowl of soup, good bread at the deli next to the P.O. and ventured forth to the beach. A rare bit of spontaneity these days. I live five minutes from the water but a month will go by without stopping to listen to the slosh slosh at low tide. Shame on me.
Not a cloud. A lone dog I thought was a log, awaits his boy with the boogie boy. Crows' and seagulls' cries scratch the air. A father scolds his toddler. Heat of the sun-toasted bench seeps up and loosens my back while I let my Sharpie roam the page.
This is my birthday month and I celebrate all month. No gifts, no expensive dinners, cards and flowers wanted. I have more than enough material goods to last out the days. The past summer, following my literary agent's example I decided I was going to have, not just one day of celebration a year, but an entire month to indulge in quiet intense moments of grace. I deliberately chose to do two separate readings on my birthday, one a museum, the other a convention for bilingual education. I want my birthday to be a day for flexing my brain and a day to be intently aware of my body in exertion.
Fortunate to have minor damage to the body after traumas. A few gray strands at the temple. A little arthritis in the left thumb. I hope my life to be all's well that ends well.
I might even celebrate my half birthday this year. Why not? It's a privilege to get a free trip around the sun each year. And I've had nearly 48 of rockin' ones.
(Below a sketch of my beloved dad, Joseph, a year and-a-half ago as he sat drawing next to me.)
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