"What are we waitin' for?
I'm gonna live to be a hundred and sixty-four-
I am not a fan of the Beach Boys, and I never was. Perhaps this means nothing, except the fact my mother remembered the time of my birth by virtue of a Beach Boys song, even though she sometimes forgot the actual date, much to my mockery. Every so often, she'd sing me the paraphrased verse;
"[H]e's real fine
My father has told stories of how I was screaming before I'd fully emerged from my mother's birth canal. Apparently, my birthcries woke up every whelp on the ward in those small hours between late night and early morning. I do not remember. After all, I was extraordinarily young at the time.
That was forty years back now...
In coming up upon my fortieth birthday, I could say I've been rather introspective, but, then again, I am something of an introspective cat to begin with. It certainly helped with my philosophical and theological studies. I am constantly reevaluating and reassessing, coming to different revelations as the psychic incarnations progress. Still, standing upon the precipice of a decade, and one, which, by virtue of the social construct of reality, is the stepping stone into middle age, I think that one cannot help but get a little meditative.
About a year before my mother got sick, right before my last trip to North Carolina, the two of us waxed venomous nostalgia about that stretch of geography, and the three and a half years we lived there. Neither of us liked the place that much, but my father's side of the family was there as was his way of earning a living at the time. Be that as it may, my mother postulated the question of whether or not I was grateful for the experience. The auspice of diversity, differing cultures, and perspectives. It's taken me a little over half a decade to truly understand the profundity of what she was saying.
I've run with pagans and punks. Taken my refuge vows from a British monk in saffron robes. I would drink coffee with a mad mathematician, speaking in the tongues of Sun Tzu and tantra whilst he broke it down in the tongues of Ann Ryand and quantum physics. On a half-remembered Wednesday night I was ordained as a minister. Studied the mystical and the scientific, sometimes simultaneously. Debated-sometimes violently-with skinheads and scholars. Attended festivals and cooked meals, which, depending on one's bent, might be considered ethnic and exotic. Published a book and hung around with a couple artists of which I didn't want to stab outright. I've kissed a gypsy and seduced a vampire. A girl in a mask once said we all have our Africas, which is so much like my concept of Kashmir; and I found mine nestled up high in the Rocky Mountains, in a valley I refer to as a Sahel. I have danced with the dead for money, helping with the last act of altruism, and am involved with historical preservation, dysfunctioally fulfilling my archaeological aspirations.
Not bad for forty trips around the sun, I think. I begin to remind myself of these things anytime I fear falling into mundanity and becoming Captain Suburbia. And I know my story isn't over yet. After all, I've come to realize life is but a constant state of becoming, and, when that stops, it's lights out.
I have no time for such silliness. It's not death if you refuse it, only if you accept it. I'm not feeling overly accepting of the concept. So it goes.
I think this is going to be the last birthday I really make any kind of deal about for a bit. Perhaps I'll just stop aging altogether. Forty seems like a decent place, that bardo between youth and the golden years. Although, I once mentioned wanting to live until at least one-hundred twenty, I'm thinking of going on until 2145 in Gregorian timekeeping, and then seeing how I feel about life and whether or not I've accomplished all I've set myself out to do and see.
By that time, me being me, I'll probably be insisting on at least another couple hundred millennia...