Gracious, NOT. My delivery into the decade of my 60's was more like a breech birth. Rather than the traditional smooth splash and celebration this birthday unfolded more like an origami swan caught in a typhoon. No form; it resembled an exercise in empty space.A whiteout on the landscape of the soul. I had no plans; I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. Babette encouraged me get out and do something fun for myself. Pedicure? Massage? I landed on the idea to get my butterfly tattoo recolored. So it was I jumped on my bike and took off in the rain for a tattoo parlor several blocks away. They were booked for the day. I continued to pedal downtown to another that had been recommended but they, normally open on Saturday's, were closed. I stood outside the store for a bit; as if my presence would magically open the door and produce a palette of colored needles. No cigar; I climbed aboard my bike for a soggy ride home through soft rain. Eventually I figured it best they weren't open since I couldn't decide if the proper action was to re-color the old or put my imagination towards something completely new. I, mired in the space between decades. Like Janus, not sure to face forward or back.
What WAS going on? 30, 40, 50...none of those gateways were big deals. 60? "So round," said Susan. I'd worked damned hard to meet it with vigor and good health, ensuring an entry with panache, and there I was, languishing. Facebook messages popped up on my wall, wishing me happy birthday; heartfelt emails, poems and phone calls peppered my day. I felt like I was letting everyone down.
My enthusiasm picked up as I dressed for the dinner party Johanna had planned. By the time I walked through her door I was ready to hang with the females from 70 to 17. Johanna's exhausted granddaughter had taken her ACT's that morning as her mother had watched the cooking shows. Phyllis had found care for her elderly mother and made her way from Twin Falls; Darlene had layered mascara onto her thick lashes and laughed a hearty hello through the doorway. Six women, six lives who managed to meet in the same living room amidst a world of chaos.
Its a miracle when you think about it. What brought us to that point in time. What possessed us to pick up the plastic kazoos and serenade one another with, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and laugh until our sides hurt. In this world where every second of our life is a competition for our attention, I pay close attention to who shows up. It was an honor sit among those women who bestowed me with their presence. The space no longer empty.