SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY

CATEGORY: MORE PORT TOWNSEND
PHOTO: JARI AND ME ON MY SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY

SIXTY SALUTES TO THE CLOUD MOVING WIND
WALTER AND NANCYANNA
jURI AND GWEN

August 7th, 1989 was my sixtieth birthday.  It was also on a Monday which was our dance night in Poulsbo, so the dance group had a birthday party for me.  I was able to choose the inscription for my birthday cake.  To some people’s consternation and everyone’s bafflement I chose a quote from THE SNOW LEOPARD by Peter Mattiasson.  My cake read “SIXTY SALUTES TO THE CLOUD MOVING WIND.  EVEN NOW WE ARE WAITING AND LISTENING.”  To those who asked the meaning, I simply said that it was paying homage to the mystery of life.

Jari and Juri both came over from Seattle.   Walter was there with his bride, Nancyanna.  He instigated a dance in which I was blindfolded and had to identify the parters with whom I danced.  And he wrote a poem for me which he presented in large print to hang on the wall:

YOUV’E BEEN AROUND
 FOR 60 ROTATIONS
EXPRESSING PROFOUND THOUGHTS
THROUGH ARTSY VOCATIONS.              

YOU DANCE WITH SUCH GUSTO,
OUR SEXAGENARIAN
WE SOAK UP YOUR GLOW
WITH THE SHIRTS THAT WE WEAR, AND

THIS MONDAY IN POULSBO
WITH FRIENDS SO BENIGN
WE PROUDLY PRESENT THOU
THIS VENITIAN BLIND.

My friend Gwen was an unusual addition to those from Port Townsend.  Jari and I wore matching dresses for the first time in our lives.  

I thanked everyone for my party.  I thanked the Creator of the Universe and the Cloud Moving Wind for sixty good years.  Twenty six years later I have the same thankfulness in my heart for the goodness of my life.  I am still waiting and listening.