January 17th, 2005

Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown?

I've got a birthday coming up. It's not a round figure one, so I'm not making a deal of fuss. Actually, even if it was a round figure one I'd want to keep things low-key. Once you're past 50 the only birthday that's worth jumping up and down about is your 100th.

I used to take my body for granted. Now I'm acutely aware of its frailty.

And its unreality.

So what is it? A column of water stiffened with carbon and calcium and other elements. Or, as Webster put it, "a little crudded milk, fantastical puff-paste."

It ain't me.


It's this thing I'm using while I work my passage through this heavy dimension. It's like a space suit or a diving suit. If I'm lucky it has another 20 or 30 years wear in it.

We'll see. But every birthday brings it closer to systems failure and the awfully big adventure.

Detachment, that's the thing to be working at when you get past 50. I like it here, but I'm hoping they won't have to pry my fingers loose at the end.

I had a flying dream last night. I said, "look, this is how it's done," spread my arms like dicky-bird wings and took off for the ceiling.

Can't do it now, but one day maybe.

Something to look forward to.