Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Birthday Message

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him," said Tweedledum, "when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

"I am real!" said Alice and began to cry.

"You won't make yourself a bit realer by crying," Tweedledee remarked: "there's nothing to cry about."

"If I wasn't real," Alice said - half laughing through her tears it all seemed so ridiculous - "I shouldn't be able to cry."

"I hope you don't think those are real tears?" Tweedledee interrupted in a tone of great contempt.

-Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Which seems a particularly apposite (if not slightly depressing) way of beginning my birthday message. I don't know why with each succeeding year I seem to acquire less density, but there it is. I hear my voice disappearing into the silence:

Green, how I want you green!

I am a lover of uncontained spaces.

I stand three feet from my body and I have ceased to listen. What is it saying? This pageant around me, Christmas lights, fake holly, plastic evergreens, mustard-coloured lightbulbs, styrofoam snowmen - I turn away.

And a friend confides in me her hopes, her dreams, it's all so very real, it's all blood and guts and moisture.

I turn away.

And I force myself to concentrate on this document I am simplifying. It's all so real. And I am three feet from my body.

So, I turn away.

And I read about how this girl tried to shrink herself into nothing to try and gain some measure of control in her life. She was three feet from her body, existing in some alternate reality, wondering, wandering, somewhere. She turned away.

All of which amounts to nothing. So, in keeping with the momentous occasion...of turning 36 and not really caring that I'm turning 36 and wondering if it's me or if the world has become so terribly old and dusty and devoid of dreams:

Joy to the world,
all you boys and girls
joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
joy to you and me.

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