Epiphanies come. Last night on the eve of my 57 birthday I reviewed. It quickly came to me that it’s not that I dislike birthdays – but, I do not like them either. The attention is misplaced. I am just kind of going along in my life and each year there is some type of celebration because I was born. This makes no sense to me at all. It never did. Then I realized…
A birthday, to me, is honoring my ancestors. While the general intention is to be paying attention to me – I have spent this week in constant thought with attention on my Mother, Father, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, extended family and lineages that have truly shaped who I am. When folks say “Happy Birthday” they are honoring my mother’s and grandmother’s energy and independence, my father’s political and social presence, my grandfather’s love of the earth and a tremendous lineage of teachers from which I come. The possible attributes that are being recognized are what my ancestors embodied and what I was given with which to work.
So yes, I celebrate! I celebrate the Kiessling nose, the Carucci height, my father’s love of the West and the stock yards, my mother’s love of gin, and the Tarentella, Pavarotti, the Ave Maria and Santa Lucia; my Aunt Jen’s involvement with Spiritist practices at the height of the movement – everything I am, that can be celebrated, is from my ancestors.
When I look in the mirror, when I speak, walk, eat, breathe, all of those things are an influence and environmental existence that was passed on. I have borrowed it and have molded it, a bit, to this era – but other than that….
My comfort with birthdays at this age has become greater. It is not my birthday, really. On this day I celebrate my ancestors of which I am a part.