Monday comes after my big birthday weekend and the weather again flips to gray and rainy. For nearly 20 years it rained on every birthday. And then it stopped. It was a metaphor for a kind of happiness I allowed myself and the heavens capitulated by shining down on my. Now I see that they are bracketing my day so I can appreciate the sunny and soggy as part of the entirety of my full six decade life.
I do not feel changed, we never do. But I loved the party, the wonderful tapestry-like nature of who came and who did not. How unexpected people stopped by and some of the stalwarts were elsewhere. I had a relaxed what will be will be attitude and all I really wanted was to dance and hug and chat and know I could still stay up late.
Near 1 a.m. my son and his sweetie and her sister and her man were plopped in a big bunch on the front couch moaning, Why are the grown ups still at it? It was a nice complement, but I knew it was because they had been out til 3 the night before and even in your 20’s there is just so much pep and zip before you head for horizontal.
But I did dance. With my high school friend and college roomie and the woman who is about to be the wife to my first husband, no not the bad man baby daddy, but a good man who always should have been just a wonderful friend. I danced with my lovely husband to the collage of music he prepared from my many decades. We ranged in age from not yet 21 to over 70, we were Black, White, Asian, Arab and tall, short, stout or sylph-like and we all coalesced over cake, champagne and stories. This might be the most perfect poetry of all: a peaceful party of revelers breathing and dancing in celebration of one of them.
Another friend who did not attend but, is the most faithful reader sent a poem in pursuit of my poems about poetry.
I offer it here since I have been a poor student of late. Perhaps with my new advanced age I will revisit my memory work.
The Subject of the Poem
By Wallace Stevens
Poetry is the subject of the poem,
From this the poem issues and
To this returns. Between the two,
Between issue and return, there is
An absence in reality,
Things as they are. Or so we say.
But are these separate? Is it
An absence for the poem, which acquires
Its true appearances there, sun’s green,
Cloud’s red, earth feeling, sky that thinks?
From these it takes. Perhaps it gives,
In the universal intercourse.