Today is my birthday!
Normally, I spend the days leading up to my very own day contemplating the past months and making plans for the the days ahead. My “New Year’s resolutions” begin October 2, not January 1. Not so this year. The last couple of weeks have been filled with anxiety, noise, and internal clutter, and I haven’t been able to grasp the calm I need to get the internal work done. It did not help to wake up in the wee morning hours to the horrible news of an attack in Vegas.
But I am grateful. To be alive (I’m familiar with the alternative). To be well (for the most part). To be accepted. To be showered with love (and brownies, every now and then). For the many, many good people and experiences my many days have brought to me.
Exactly five years ago one of these good people–at that time a new friend–gave me a beautiful card for my birthday. Because it “lives” on my desk, I see it frequently, but today I took a moment to appreciate it again.
The portrait of U.S. Poet Laureate (1993-95) Rita Dove is part of a 24-poet/panel masterpiece by mixed media artist Malaika Favorite which honors the history of African American poetry. The work was commissioned for Furious Flower, a conference held every decade (since 1994), that celebrates, stimulates, and encourages African American poetry and poetic voices.
Dove’s poem, “Dawn Revisited,” from her collection On the Bus with Rosa Parks, is printed on the back of the card.
Imagine you wake upwith a second chance: The blue jayhawks his pretty waresand the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don’t look back,the future never happens.How good to rise in sunlight,in the prodigal smell of biscuits –eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yoursto write on, blown opento a blank page. Come on,shake a leg! You’ll never knowwho’s down there, frying those eggs,if you don’t get up and see.