Well folks, I’ve completed yet another journey around the big fireball in the sky. My years officially end in a zero. The number feels arbitrary, but oddly celebrated. Perhaps overly celebrated? It’s somewhere between Sweetest Day (what is that, anyway?) and Boss’s Day (really..??).
In Japan, the celebrated years are the elevens. A traditional gift is kimono with a corresponding number of pieces, 77 pieces of fabric stitched into a garment for a 77 year old. I’ve never been to Japan, but it seems nice.
I have been to a restaurant surrounded by wonderful friends who said kind things about me while eating beautiful plates of food. I highly recommend it. Joy is contagious, and it was lovely to soak it all in. Let’s do it again in a decade.
Alan got me a spinning wheel to celebrate, though I don’t know how to use it. Despite being a textile artist in a previous life, it’s one of a handful of things I’ve never so much as dabbled in. Time for more dabbling. My friend quips that he can’t wait to see the sweater I make. I may need a few more years.
They say age is just a number, but historically that’s not true. In the grand scheme of things, we’ve only marked time with numbers in relatively recent history. Prior to that, we marked time with events. Paleolithic: that time we learned to make tools from stone. Neolithic: that time we learned to make pottery. Chalcolithic: that time we learned the metallurgy of copper.
What would it be like it we marked our time like that? With things we learned or saw or did? The time I met the most wonderful man in the whole world. The time we built my studio. The time my daughter, now a beautiful young woman, took us out to dinner and picked up the check.
These are the moments that life is made of. Not a zero at the end of some random number. The moments that make us say, remember when?
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I know what I look forward to: here’s to living and learning, to celebrating old memories and spinning up new ones.