Wednesday, April 21, 2010

this day

Bartosz, Feliks – these are the names that belong to April 21st. If I lived in Poland and I had the name of Feliks, I would celebrate. People would wish me well. It would be my name day.

My own name does not have a calendar day associated with it. My mother, somewhat defiantly, picked a name for me that was dateless. In my Warsaw high school I was the commie non-Catholic, two years younger than her classmates, someone who had spent a few years in the States and returned, someone without a name day. I stood out.

On the up side, I used deodorant and I had a solid if scratched collection of the early Beatles albums and I lent them out freely.

I learned early that there is nearly always an up side.

In Poland, birthdays didn’t count so much. Maybe it was meant to be that I should eventually leave Poland and live in a country where name days are out of vogue (except if you’re a Patrick, I suppose; everyone here knows that March 17th is yours) and birthdays are where the money is.

Step aside, Bartosz and Feliks – I’m in America and April 21st is my birthday. 57th, today.

I am thrilled that one daughter, already residing in the Midwest, is coming up for a birthday dinner. Ed may even join us, if his Wednesday night bike ride ends on time and he can forget for a minute the well rehearsed ditty – everyday is a birthday, everyday is a birthday, tra la la...

To my other girl, still stuck on the east coast, and also to those who keep coming back to Ocean, knowing darn well that sometimes a post is going to be nothing more than a few sentences about a birthday not being a name day – I’m posting a flower from my walk home yesterday.

A row of hearts, bleeding with love.