Monday, August 02, 2004

Avg age 23.6 years....

Today is Uncle Mike's Birthday!!!!!!!!

He sixty-one going on a strong sixteen. Energized by a perpetual youthfulness, curious about everything and a perennial pain in my ass, but god love 'em, what a man! Don't know where I'd be without 'em (probably wouldn't be bloggin', that's for certain...) He's perhaps one of only a handful of people that I know of who has given their lives for a cause greater than themselves....and have done so in a manner that doesn't involve/encourage ego suckeling or green tongue laurel licking...--that's what true mysticism is...sloughing the ego and identifying yourself within the frame of the collective other--As Rumi's teacher, Shams of Tabriz wrote:

I You He She We
In The Garden of Mystic Lovers
These Are Not True Distinctions

(Tell me that's not a precursor to baha'i antics).


"How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth," According to Milton, "Stol’n on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!My hasting days fly on with full career,But my late spring no bud or blossom shew’th." Read this morning that the average age for the US men's basketball Dream Team this summer is 23.6 years. which made me think (botched basketball visionary that I am) about where I was when I was 23 and half---namely it was January 2001, nine months before 9-11. Financial fetters and third-shift employment (as well as a family suicide-remember cousin Joey in your prayers- and my parents perpetual vocal support in their son's forever failure) had made it impossible for me to wrap up my junior semester. I had approximately 150 pages of a manuscript, typed, that I tucked under my arm and toated everywhere I went.

It was January 2001. The entire month of January was caked in grey cigarette snow. In exactly one year my dad would be diagnosed. I remember watching my mom raise her hands in prayer in front of the television screen when Georgie W. was sworn in. I remember my sister coming down to my bedroom informing me in a hoity-toity manner that she thought I was a good writer and would make it someday, but mom and dad really didn't want to have their oldest son living in their basement. Beth was a 'pageant-queen' and she strutted around the house like Mary-lou retton.

I was an habitual pot smoker (justifiably, if your parents don't support your dreams illegal substances always do) I doused my morning coffee with potent shots of J and B; I wrote as often as I could; 9 am to 9 pm, I was ostracized at the dinner table for not being a devout Christian; the night I audaciously read three discrete passages; from the Bible the Bhagava gita and the Dhampata respectively and for some reason felt compelled to show my parents that they were all saying intriniscally the same thing I was exiled from the dinner table brandished with blasphemy.

Twenty-three and a half year olds. I lived by the mantra (and still do) that if you keep on doing what you have to do things will happen. I knew if I kept chiseling out sentences things would occur and eventually they did: by March I was living in the cooloest house in Peoria ( a mansion, the same street where Uncle Mike lived) I had a job with, get this, BENEFITS ( a shit job but benefits are benefits nonetheless) and I had a laptop to pour my creative mettle into on a nightly basis...

Twney-three and a half and no where to go. Sixty-one and giving everything. Beautiful life we lead, my friends. It's a beautiful life indeed.


daku said...

Happy B'Day Uncle Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No need to run and hide
It's a wonderful, wonderful life
No need to hide and cry
It's a wonderful, wonderful life
-Black, Wonderful Life
Today I think in pop songs!

David Von Behren said...

In the immortal words of Calvin, "It's a woderful world Hobbes old buddy. Let's go exploring."

David Von Behren said...

woe is I--That's 'wonderful' no 'woderful' eyes....