Tag Archives: birthdays

“When I’m 64”

That Beatles song has been in my head lately. “When I’m 64” has finally come true. This is my day, my 64th birthday. Hard to believe I am this old.

Yesterday I celebrated by going to a poetry reading. I bought a chapbook of poems from one of the poets, Susan Glassmeyer. She is a member of the Greater Cincinnati Writers League which meets once a month. I like the poems I’ve heard from her! I believe we are kindred souls. So when I read what she had signed-thanking me for my support “and lovely poems,” it made my day!

My lovely poems are lurking inside waiting to see the light of day. I have a strong feeling that once they start coming through, there will be a lot of them. But Susan’s vote of confidence will keep me going.

This morning for my birthday, I ordered some poetry chapbooks from Finishing Line Press. I ordered poetry by Kate Fadick and Karen George. I know these two women, sister poets, from the GCWL. I admire their words and commitment to the craft of poetry. I am glad to support them. They, also, will serve to keep me on my path as a poet.

My lunch with two friends was postponed due to impending freezing rain. It’s tough to be a February birthday “goddess babe.” But I have my two dogs napping on the bed next to me and the profound art of poetry.

happy birthday to my mother (six years after her passing)

Today my mother would have turned 83. She was 20 when she birthed me so it’s always been easy to keep track. Just add 20; easy math. She’d be proud of me. After all, she would probably remember trying to help me with my geometry homework. I swear my poetic brain just could not conceptualize the spatial figuring of a triangle. Geometry often brought me to tears.

To be truthful, I didn’t remember today was my mother’s birthday until late in the afternoon. Oh, it was on the calendar. April 9th – Aries’ time – is indelibly engrained in my memory.

I think of her on a fairly regular basis. This time of year – now that it is actually acting like spring – I hear those wind chimes I’d bought her one year for her birthday. After she died, I got them back. The chimes have a beautiful sound as the breeze blows through them. These chimes are deeper than most and I love the profundity it calls forth somewhere deep within me.

What a wonderful gift for me on her birthday!

today would have been my mother’s 80th birthday

April 9th. That date has stuck with me all my life for it was my mother’s birthday.

An Aries, she was assertive and friendly but knew who and what she liked or did not. She loved flowers and nature and breakfast at Frisch’s. Once, after my stepfather died, she joined me on a trip to the San Francisco Bay area. I still have the photo of us riding the boat to Alcatraz. I have many fond memories of that trip. But that’s another posting.

This morning I thought, what could I do to honor her birthday? I have kept an altar to her in my meditation room with some photos, candles, and flowers. I decided an arati (waving of a tray with flowers and candle in devoted honor to someone, usually a guru) would be appropriate. I thought, what tune, what chant or hymn? What spontaneously issued from my mouth was “Happy Birthday to You . . .” I had to smile; it was appropriate, after all, for it would always be her birthday even if her physical self and body were no longer here. Then I remembered a tune described as a zen Buddhist hidden message and sang “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream.” I appreciate these reminders from time to time so as to not take my self so seriously and get on with the important things in my life.

One special gift the Universe has brought into my life lately is an accordion. Actually, I’ve had it since shortly after mom’s death. My sister Linda let me have it, after I expressed interest. Before I, her first born entered this world, Irene Shirley Drees played accordion with a group of young women (I have a picture to prove it!). Although this accordion is not that original one — I believe it to be one she picked up at a yard sale much later — still, there will always be this association of accordions with my mother. So it’s been sitting in my meditation room closet (ironically) and just a week or so ago, I remembered it and brought it out. I expected to hear wheezy sounds and dust and a dilapadated condition but, lo and behold, the accordion seemed pretty intact. She looked lovely, too, silvery blue with white (ivory?) keys. What a complicated instrument, truly.

Now I don’t know how to read music, really, but I seem to have had a past life talent musically that has manifested these past two years. At the meditation group I go to, Scott discovered I had a nice voice, then he invited me to learn harmonium. The live chants of kirtan I have participated in have added tremendously to my spiritual practice. I am bhakti through and through.

So how does the accordion fit into all this? Well, I took a chant I played on harmonium and messed around with the accordion keyboard. It’s a quite complicated instrument with bellows and another side of little black buttons for bass but oh so cool. Positively gypsy! And I discovered some free instructional videos on YouTube. This guy explains the parts of an accordion in plain English. I intend to have fun with this new challenge!

So, Mom, if you’re watching from somewhere — and listening — I’m sure I’ll make you smile as you hear your daughter’s trials and tribulations with the musical instrument of your choice. Happy Birthday, Mom!