Every year since I was 30, I’ve celebrated three days for my birthday. When I married Raymond, being only 4 days apart, we combined parties, but the Feast Days of Anjana remained separate, something of my own, created for very personal reasons.
This year there’s no joy in my heart and I’ve been struggling to connect to things that once brought me pleasure. And then I remembered why I started the three day ritual, and why I always try to note the birthdays of others, even people I’ve never met:
We matter. It is a privilege to be born in a body and life that allows us the opportunity to evolve and become fully human. To have senses, thoughts, and emotions, and to experience Life in all of its beauty, pain, stupidity, and joy. To be complex and simple, humble and arrogant.
Ray taught me to see life from the end and not to get too caught up in the daily things that change our moods. One of his favorite movies was “La Familia” with Jimmy Smits, because in the end, after a life of struggle, it was all good. He believed that in the core of his being. That even when the struggle was long, things would work out and that it was good to be alive.
Ray and I were opposites in many ways. I’ve been in existential crisis since I was two; Ray seldom struggled in that way and rarely had a depressing thought. He regretted that he’d not been materially more successful, but only in order to have been able to do more for his children and me. His only other regret was that he’d ever caused pain to others. But he never indulged in regret: he acknowledged it and stayed present to his reality and did what he could to help anybody he could. Some remained in his shadow self, but he left those parts alone, walking with just a trace of sadness that was hard to see from the outside.
I think we brought some balance to each other’s lives and I’ll do my best to keep his perspective in my heart and combine it with my own so that when I pull the camera back I can see that Life is good and we are worthy of celebration. I’ll no doubt continue to agonize over the ways of the folk and ruminate over ethical issues that may be of little import beyond my own concern, but I will insert enough of his philosophy to keep perspective and return to balance, because he was right: Life is indeed good.
Happy Anjana Eve to me and from me to you❣️
Oh Anjana, what you have shared here is so very beautiful and a reminder to all what life can be. Raymond will always be part of you and will continue to keep you in balance. And all of us who love you will be there if you list a bit. I trust you to reach out so that we may do that for you as you do that for us. Love you ❤️
Thank you Ellen. I’m hoping that someone reading it will be eased, as it helped me to write it.