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Monday, September 24, 2012

My "Beat the Curse" Birthday

I just had a Birthday, September 22nd 2012 I officially circled the Sun 65 times. This is a big occasion for me, I’ll explain later.
First though, I had a wonderful Birthday Party. I have no idea how many people turned up but it must have been close to 100. I had a Band of three great guys and personal friends, they call themselves “3 of a Kind” After drinking a few beers I sang a song with them, but unfortunately they didn’t know how to play in the key of H. The food was marvelous, prepared by another friend who literally worked all day to prepare this gourmet feast. It was amazing. It was an incredible night all the way round. For a while my home became Tolkien’s Rivendell, a place of song story and laughter.
I consider it an honor and a privilege to have been born at the time of Alban Elfed, or the feast of Mabon, as my Pagan cousins would say. I was born about 1:30 am so it seems I was right on the cusp, at the time when the wheel of the year is in balance. This is the time of year when day and night are of equal length. Balance may seem a strange concept to those who know me well. I live my life preferably to excess. I share with Robert Heinlein the view that moderation is for Monks. I have discovered over the years that in a paradoxical sort of way that is balance. The society I live in seems to hold the view that living moderately is the key and yet, that so often means denying who you really are. It becomes a battle within us to overcome that base nature. What about accepting who we are for what we are and just living beyond constraints. I was once invited to a Buddhist temple where they were giving an introductory class on the teachings of the Buddha. The teacher spoke of desire and how desire causes suffering. I raised my hand and said: “I get it. I’m faithful to my wife because I desire to be, but I could overcome this desire by sleeping around” I couldn’t help noting that all the men laughed and all the women said “NO”
It seems to me that if we just live and enjoy being alive without struggle or pretense then we discover something about ourselves. We are good people, we are caring and decent and we never did eat the forbidden fruit. We are without sin as soon as we stop worrying about it.
Back to my Birthday; apparently I am now officially an old fart. I have reached “Old Age” I don’t feel it I must say. I don’t feel that I’ve got older I still feel as spry as ever. Just because I’m growing old doesn’t mean I have to grow up and I will certainly resist any notion that I should.
My Birthday Party was dubbed the “Beat the Curse” party. The reason for the name is due to what our family refers to as the “Freeman Curse” No one in my family, and I mean no one ever, has lived to see their 66th birthday. Everyone dies at 65 or younger. I am the oldest living person in my family. My younger brothers and my children are watching me rather closely and the wife seems to have a passing interest in the situation herself. I intend to hang out here as long as I can. I would like to think that 65 only marks the half-way point. The sucky thing about a life span is that it’s rather like walking into a movie theater half way through the film and then having to walk out before it ends. I would like to see how this all turns out. What will be will be, and I’m sure I’ll be around for a few more incarnations. As for now, while the Gods are smiling and the beer is flowing I’ll be here; singing in an unheard of key and toasting all my friends and companions on this winding road.