My youngest son is 43 today. I wonder if as one grows older, your children’s birthdays are more important than your own. His age means I have to look at my own, and I can relate to 43 more than my upcoming 71.
His gift request was an “autobiography” from his father and me. It might sound simple, but it is an archaeological dig going back through what to share especially when you start at the beginning. I was born. I weighed.
I sent what I’d written to both sons last night and they both appreciated it and requested more.
I’m with that this morning, the journey backward in time. It might sound easy but it’s like peeling an apple to get to the core. What’s important for them to know, for me to know, for me to bring forth and share?
I want them to know me, and yet there’s this place of tenderness right now on what I regurgitate, like a mother bird feeding her tweeting babies chewed worms.
I’ve been going through my journals of which I have multitudes. In 1999, I was going through something painful. I wrote that there was a crackling pain in my chest like fire, prying me open, lacing ash and silt with space to grow new form. The crack in my trunk felt like a burning. I was split by fire like a redwood tree that expands into a family of trees growing in a circle.
I’m with that now and these words from Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.
“Everything that has already happened is particles, everything in the future is waves.”
I look at my doodling from that time period and it is as though a woman is a rocket ship taking off into the waves.