Sunday, November 20, 2005

"Please do not throw confetti..."

The Song: "The Days of Our Lives," High, The Blue Nile, 2004
Composer: Paul Buchanan

It's my birthday, so I'm tossing in a song lyric. This song ends with the line, "An ordinary miracle is all we really need," and that describes me most days... though I've had my share of ordinary miracles, and yesterday was no exception. After the police were so annoyed with me, the Econo-Lodge's manager, Alain, could not have been kinder; he cleaned most of the broken glass out of my car, and found me a place that would repair the window that very day, for less than I probably would have paid in the United States. So now the car is fixed, and safely (I hope) parked in a lot that has a 24-hour attendant.

Friday night, Claire was saying that she embraced the Enlightenment ideals, though she knew it might be naive -- that she believes in people's essential goodness. "I'm more of a medievalist," I said, and Claire asked if that meant I was cynical -- "More fatalistic," I said.

Yesterday, vacuuming the last of the glass out of my car and trudging down to the money exchange bureau (in a light snowfall), I had time to think about what I'd actually meant by that, and what I really do think of human nature -- so I'll indulge myself, today, by waxing philosophical.

I don't believe that humans are essentially good or bad, by themselves. I believe that all of us are born with the capacity for the divine, if we choose to embrace it. It's hard to do, when we let ourselves get so distracted; it's something I don't do often enough, it's something I don't think about often enough or let myself feel often enough. And there's no excuse for that, since that desire to slow down long enough for the divine was one of the major reasons I have changed my lifestyle so dramatically in the past six years.

So that's my goal for the next 40 years.

Happy, happy birthday to my twin sister, Kathy, and a belated happy birthday to my friend Barb Biffle, who celebrated her birthday on Saturday. Thanks to Mom and Dad for getting us here, and letting us live so long.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you, Clair. All the best for your next 40 years!
Love, Sue

Tom Ehrenfeld said...

Happy Birthday Ellen Clair--

I can only think of the penultimate lines in Charlotte's Web when I think of you: "She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer." Charlotte, as noted above (op cit?) was both. And so are you.

Love,
Tom

AnswerGirl said...

Thanks! That's really lovely -- I need a moment. Talk amongst yourselves...

Anonymous said...

Happy B-day Clair! If you are ..... then that means I will be .....(I can't say it)!! Hope you had a wonderful birthday and have a great Thanksgiving.
Love
James