Thursday, August 03, 2006

i'm so glad


i'm so glad, i'm glad, i'm glad, i'm glad

to be alive, tho it is a mixed deal. death is guaranteed, and suffering, tho not necessarily mine personally, seems ever present. the joy of family and friends, the wonder of the natural world, and the thrill of learning are just a few of the rewards of life which lend some balance to, or at least offer respite from, the unpleasant parts.
today is the 64th anniversary of my birth at stanford hospital in palo alto, ca. the attack on pearl harbor was nine months earlier (hmmmmm?) and the west coast inhabitants were still fearful of an attack on the mainland. the population of the united states was a bit under 135 million. none of this was any concern to me.

now the us population is a bit over 295 million and we are stuck in a war we started, which has gone on longer than our direct involvement in wwII. in any real view we are losing this war. our puppet government in iraq believes that they are truly in charge of their own country and they are at least ambivalent about our continued presence.

my birthday is not the other bookend of my life -- the one being birth and the other being death -- but it is a moment to consider what has happened between my birth and today. my own life has gone fairly well. there were some bumpy parts but it has smoothed out nicely. robin has assured me that she still needs me and will still feed me. her love and assurances are requited and returned. the bigger world also has had some bumpy parts, but unfortunately has most certainly not smoothed out.

somewhere in my youth during high school and then college when i was reading a lot of politics and history i formed the opinion that the human endeavor was not a sustainable enterprise. i have not changed that opinion. i have, fortunately for my sanity, found that many others share my opinion and yet carry on their lives decently and honestly. having learned of the struggles of people much wiser and more learned than myself to cope with the contradictions and inconsistencies, the cruelty and kindness, the nobility and depravity of human existence, what else can i do but my best to emulate them.

"what is real but compassion as we move from birth to death"
from a song called "rexroth's daughter" by greg brown

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friends offered the use of a kayak for my birthday. imagine us out on port townsend bay sometime this afternoon.

here is what i looked like last year, if you're curious. no haircut since then, but new glasses and new backdrop in the same location. i'm laughing in this years photo above because robin started singing happy birthday just as she got me in focus.

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