Sunday, September 13, 2009
Happy Birthday to You (Yes,YOU!)
I've always thought of my birthday as my very own personal Academy Awards Night I would welcome each greeting as a personal validation (i.e. Sally Field winning her second Oscar going, "You like me; you really, really like me!!!!").
I must have been doing some serious growing up recently because for this birthday, I realize with the most liberating clarity that I don't need one day of the year to get my regular fix.
In a world where there is so much uncertainty and despair, I know that joy, love and friendship also exist. On a daily basis, you reaffirm my faith in the human race and assure me that things
will be alright , that WE will be alright.
So, today, on the eve of another birthday I am happy celebrating the day YOU were born. Yes - YOU whom I've known since childhood. YOU, from the group that I met other day and YOU who came into my life sometime in between.
I am glad YOU are here in this world. I am so much the richer and better for it. Thank you for making me part of you life.
I'd like to share with you this translated text from Gabriel Garcia Marquez, one of my favorite authors. He says what I feel much better than I ever can. Think of it as my birthday gift to you because YOU ARE MY FAVORITE :-)
If for an instant God were to forget that I am a rag doll and gifted me with a piece of life, possibly I wouldn't say all that I think, but rather I would think of all that I say.
I would value things, not for their worth but for what they mean. I would sleep little, dream more, understanding that for each minute we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.
I would listen when others talk, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream! If God were to give me a piece of life, I would dress simply, throw myself face first into the sun, baring not only my body but also my soul.
My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hate on ice, and wait for the sun to show. Over the
stars I would paint with a Van Gogh dream a Benedetti poem, and a Serrat song would be the serenade I'd offer to the moon.
With my tears I would water roses, to feel the pain of their thorns, and the red kiss of their petals...
My God, if I had a piece of life... I wouldn't let a single day pass without telling the people I love that I love them. I would convince each woman and each man that they are my favorites, and I would live in love, with love.
I would show men how very wrong they are to think that they cease to be in love when they grow old, not knowing that they grow old when they cease to be in love!
To a child I shall give wings, but I shall let him learn to fly on his own. I would teach the old that death does not come with old age, but with forgetting. So much have I learned from you, oh men...
I have learned that everyone wants to live on the peak of the mountain, without knowing that real happiness is in how it is scaled.
I have learned that when a newborn child squeezes for the first time with his tiny fist his father's finger, he has him trapped forever.
I have learned that a man has the right to look down on another only when he has to help the
other get to his feet.
From you I have learned so many things, but in truth they won't be of much use, for when I keep them within this suitcase, unhappily shall I be dying.
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ