Friday, August 06, 2004

"You say it's your birthday?
Well, it's my birthday too, yeah.
You say it's your birthday.
We're going to have a good time.
I'm glad it's your birthday.
Happy birthday to you."

--The Beatles (but, if you didn't know that, well, yaboo sucks to ya)

I woke up at 8:22 this morning, solidly happy after a full night's sleep. And when the consciousness rose up to my face, I remembered. And felt even happier. To be alive. To hear the rain pattering on the roof. To have the entire day stretched in front of me. To feel the muscles in my legs, newly stretched by days of hiking and an outrageous yoga class last night. To raise my arms above my head and not feel the sinews of my neck twitch in pain. To be able to send the breath out through my entire body and not find places blocked by muscles cramped up or holding in fear. To have an entire day off, and most of a month splayed out before me without having to go to work. To have everything a possibility. To have a body. To have breath. To be alive on another birthday.

And then I walked out to the living room, plucked the second disc of the White Album out of my massive cd book (and technically, it's called The Beatles, but you would have been confused if you didn't know that, so I'll use the colloquial), put it in the cd changer, and started dancing. I've listened to this song, in the first moments of my birthday morning, every year since I was 16. 22 years since I lived in that house on Tulane, newly besotted with the Beatles, and everything opening up before me. And every year, no matter where I am, I'm listening to this insistent beat, the raspy vocals, Paul singing me awake, and my feet dancing. Hips swaying. And thinking about all those years, all of them in my body somehow, even when I can't consciously remember them. But mostly, just dancing, instead of thinking. Dancing that happy "It's my birthday, and I'm alive" dance. Just dancing.

And this year, in particular. This year, I really know what it means to be alive. And I'm grateful.

Happy Birthday to me.

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