One-third of a Century.

I have an uncanny habit of waking up at 9:00 on a given morning and 8:30 on Saturdays, which is to say, one minute later and I’m up anyway thanks to a mighty, chest-rending leap from the mackerel-striped cat. My dreams often dissipate in anticipation of this moment, so it’s a rare event these days that I’d remember any of them. My body clock is trained for my routine, and I haven’t used an alarm to wake since returning from Scotland. I’ve always championed routine as a virtue, growing up thinking that it meant we were adults if we had an established pattern of living, a methodical manner of getting things done. Youngsters are pell-mell chaotic in thought and action, discarding notions of a stable methodology for the sheer joy and delight that come from off-the-cuff process and spontaneous response. They don’t know what works for them yet, and it’s like a drug-high acting and reacting through the learning process. But sometimes we settle on the first thing that yields results in a given situation. And then the pattern is set, and the routine starts.

As I get older, I feel more strongly that birthdays are less about outwardly celebrating one’s commemoration through interaction with others and more that they offer an ideal time to take stock of what we’ve been given, where we’re headed, and who we want to be. The years are blazing by now, and I’ve been told they only go faster. Does a set routine exacerbate this light-speed acceleration, or is it really a clear way of attaining lifetime goals and desires? If I were to discard all that I’ve built, throw caution and safety to the wind, toss three-thousand books into a pack, and walk the world – would my life feel longer, more diverse, more blessed? Does dichroicynosure lose her mortality in the endless stream of culture and climate to which she’s been exposed for the past few years? Does completely_lost fall into her swirling myriad of art and European society, breathing it all like rich air in frosty lungs amidst always-new and inspiring surroundings? Do the fantastic characters that chuckmckeithan appropriates give him a semblance of transposition and therefore extend his experiential consciousness through simulation? How do the worlds of infinite detail that explosive sees through her camera affect her desires and hopes for the present and future? A thousand other questions for a thousand other people.

There’s been a lot in my head lately, and being able to sit with it and even broach an inkling of consideration is a splendid birthday gift which I’m happy to offer to myself. Though I’m not of a pagan mind, the relevance of Beltane as a time of renewal is not lost to me. It’s a good day to be born, to be sure, and the sub-holiday ensures that I pay attention to what parts of my life are rote and what parts need to be systemically dynamized. When looking for commonalities from previous years at this time, the one constant I keep identifying is this unabashed pleasure and thirst I feel for life. In a way, it’s almost a curse to be so interested and moved by so many countless things, and never to have enough years to see them all realized. So it’s picking and choosing, then, in between the established patterns of everyday life. Either that or revert to childhood ideals, where running around willy-nilly and leaving dirt and destruction in my wake was the order of the day. At thirty-three, the dust from my trail has diffused considerably, but I’m looking forward to distressing a few carpets along the way.

The weekend is beautiful, and the record-breaking deluge that has waterlogged the Bay Area seems to have finally subsided. Even the western oceanline is free of fog and cloud. Yesterday after work, I met Danny and Angela to watch a couple of fights on the tooob, and then we headed out to see Stellamara at the Independent. Finally got to meet ethereal_lad, an extremely talented DCite who certainly must join us here on the proper coast one day soon. The man is full of fantasy and prose, excellent musical tastes and thoughtful perspectives. Danny and I headed out to Ocean Beach to watch the waves strike the sands, and we marveled at nearly two dozen bonfires dotting the shore, glowing beacons of huddled community speckled up and down the coast. Beautiful!

Today is soft, picking up flowers of purple and white with angledge to plant in our front drive, calls from dear people in my life whom I am lucky to know. The Scots text messaged me with a diabolical treasure hunt this afternoon; they had planted clever clues around the house during their stay last week – I’d been in the dark the whole while, but at the end, I uncovered a gorgeous 1937 illustrated edition of Stevenson’s Treasure Island, which is truly an icon of the confluence of our two worlds. The Scotsman Stevenson spent some of his years in Monterey, and hermiston purchased the book there when we vacationed the other week.

Tonight is dinner and a trip to my first symphonic experience, via podle and vegasjohnny, for which I am both excited and grateful. Tomorrow is Sigur Rós in San Rafael, of all places, with inbody and lady_in_satin. The madness starts up again on Tuesday, but all we really have is today.


39 Responses to “One-third of a Century.”

  1. thistlelurid Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 7:18 pm

    ::twists into a ball of hair envy:: 🙂
    Enjoy your night…drink it in…eyes closed or open…
    I cannot wait to hear your thoughts about the experience!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 11:22 pm

    Cheers, Kat. Lots to tell, but I'll save it for our catch-up call.

  3. marasca Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 7:44 pm

    Happy birthday!
    Who's the hot red head at the end of your post?

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks! That's Sonja Drakulich, the singer of Stellamara. For a white chick, she's sure got some pipes. Looks high maintenance, though.

  5. catness Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    Hey, now. As a white chick with pipes, I have to protest your tone, here. Oh, wait. I'm probably high maintenance, too.

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:44 am

    You said it, baby, not me. 🙂

  7. dsrt_faery Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    happy birthday doll

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Thanks very much, Shannon.

  9. agntprovocateur Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    Sigur Rós
    good gawd the tickets are expensive!!!
    here's wishing you a wonderful birthday! 🙂

  10. FunkyPlaid Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Re: Sigur Rós
    Yeah, I'll be paying for it in more ways than you know…

  11. psymbiotic Says:
    April 30th, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    Happy Birthday my friend! 😀

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:44 am

    Cheers, dood.

  13. gingiber Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 1:09 am

    Glad you had such a great birthday.
    The treasure island present is so perfect.

  14. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:45 am

    Yes, it is a lovely edition. My Palm was recently wiped, would you remind me of yours?

  15. aitkendrum Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 2:13 am

    All the best on your 33rd innings…
    So many more ahead!
    Have a blast…

  16. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:46 am

    Still waiting for the long overdue mid-inning stretch…
    Thanks for the good wishes!

  17. fraulein_doktor Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 2:14 am

    Happy birthday from me 🙂
    All the love I can give and more, to the sweetest of friends.

  18. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Missing you tons, A. Thank you very much for your birthday thoughts.

  19. verdandiweaves Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 2:37 am

    Happy Birthday – and indeed a time for a new beginning. (And the years do go faster, but you also have more ability as your grow older to live in the moment and to cherish it for what is it. After all we only ever live in the now if we're lucky. 😉 )

  20. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:51 am

    Well said, and thank you for your words – here and everywhere.

  21. handworn Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 6:43 am

    The years are blazing by now, and I’ve been told they only go faster. Does a set routine exacerbate this light-speed acceleration, or is it really a clear way of attaining lifetime goals and desires?
    Depends what your goals & desires are. If you want to make a lot of money and pay off a thirty-year mortgage, or something similar which takes a while like, oh, mastering an instrument or an art form, it does both. But if you yearn to roam and taste life, if your goals are more short-term, or if you have no real goals, then it only exacerbates that light-speed acceleration.
    Certainty, is the key. The more predictable and certain your life is, the more you may accomplish, but it'll slide by. The less certain, the more adventurous, and the more each day stands out.

  22. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    This is completely the definition of relativity, of course. The 'certainty' to me is having to set a routine to accomplish socialized, Western life-goals. The two are inextricably linked. But that's what books and foreign friends are for, making one wonder about the long life of wanderlust and transposition that always seems an impossibility for the more sedentary of us. There is a middle ground somewhere, and one day I'd like to find it.

  23. handworn Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    Yeah, having the money to live as you please is among the best of things to wish for. Most people don't quite see that materialism and restlessness dissipates their means and dilutes any progress toward that.
    Book, travel, foreign friends, new experiences– now there's a composting source (in the writerly sense of composting).

  24. dr_beep Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 9:54 am

    Happy slightly belated birthday!
    I have always seen routine as a useful but uncomfortable tool to be used when needed but never really embraced or liked… like tin snips.

  25. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    Will, are you embracing my routine again without asking? Haven't we spoken about this?

  26. dr_beep Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    but you dress it so pretty!

  27. ethereal_lad Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 10:39 am

    Thanks for the kind words about me!
    It was nice meeting you as well.

  28. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Re: Thanks for the kind words about me!
    With more warning and time, it'd be fun to get together and have a proper catch-up.

  29. Anonymous Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 11:06 am

    Happy Birthday
    A little late, but still, I hope you had a very wonderful Birthday! ~(*

  30. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Re: Happy Birthday
    Never too late – until I'm dead, that is. Thanks, Rita!

  31. catness Says:
    May 1st, 2006 at 8:09 pm

    And happy belated, as well…

  32. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:53 am

    Thanks, dearie.

  33. alison_ella Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 3:56 am

    sorry its late!!
    Hope you had an excellent time

  34. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 3rd, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Re: sorry its late!!
    Relaxation is always excellent, and, these days, more dire and necessary!

  35. Anonymous Says:
    May 6th, 2006 at 10:25 am

    I hope you had a great birthday! I hope your next one is great too! Just like you.
    (Sorry, didn't mean to rhyme atcha.)
    I also hope I will keep up with my friends better in the coming months.
    And I love the stuff you write.

  36. niddrie_edge Says:
    May 8th, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    belated wishes on your 33!
    a wonderful and inspiring read.
    i floated by due to lj friends playing the 7 degrees of seperation and i remembered the doors you opened up after reading you on <lj user="zotz"> journal, many moons ago. are born on Beltaine?
    I was born on Imbolc.
    May you always marvel at "glowing beacons of huddled community".

  37. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 8th, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    Hello there, and thanks very much for your kind words, and also for reading. I've also seen you around on Kat's journal, and it's good to 'meet' another fine soul from Edinburgh. From one festival son to another, all the best to you, and I'll look forward to reading more about you in the future!

  38. dichroicynosure Says:
    May 12th, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    Well, I felt a bit persecuted by the end of the first paragraph considering my life is a choose your own adventure story, but as usual, I think your reflections on being where you are at, in this stage of life is inspiring and grounding. (Ironically the icon you used in the comment above really sums that sense about you up). You are a great life model, you get things done, you actually have a work ethic, and are one of the most present people I know and have no pretenses about it. As always, I am grateful for our connection.
    Happy Birthday.

  39. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 13th, 2006 at 12:22 am

    I can't imagine nicer words offered to me. Thanks so much for that, Selene.
    There's no persecution intended, of course. Just a reflection, as you pointed out, and a deep acknowledgment that I'm simply not *able* to live the kind of life that you do – and I realize that yours – and others' – is enviable. I don't know which is more bountiful or rewarding, but I do know I wish I could live every and all lives that ever were and ever will be.
    I know you know the feeling.

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