« Pulaski | Main | Three Recent Poems »

September 21, 2006


Beth, I'm sorry for your grief and happy that your birthday did become a happy occasion. The photo reveals a very cosy, warm atmosphere of joy. May the year ahead be an easier one for you, with more happiness than sadness. (I've had a sad day today - I learned that a dear friend passed away last night. I cried for a while and then happy memories of him sustain me.)

But, for now, we are here. And how meaningful it is, how altogether amazing, to be here now!

Happy birthday, Beth.

That was a beautiful and touching passage. And wise; there really isn't any better way to cope with a tide of feeling than to ride it where it will go, and then look around and see where you are afterward. May your birthdays roll on for decades more.

All my (shameful, for having forgotten) best.

Beth, this is making me cry - for you, for me, for all of us, and feel glad to know you.

Oh, Beth... No words, just hugs.

May you welcome the new days' gifts. Happy new year.


I'm glad the day ended on a happy note. Happy birthday!

Happy Birthday, Beth!

Grief revisits us in different ways forever, as far as I can tell. Each time it brings poignant new gifts born from love, circumstance, and suffering. Don't let anyone tell you what to expect or when and how to stop mourning (including yourself!).

This is also a good occasion for gratitude, for our own lives and for the lives of those we love...

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

(W.H. Auden)

Birthdays - yours & theirs - remain the difficult times after their passing. Mine's on Christmas Day & my parents (mother living, but now in a nursing home, father dead) always ensured that, on that busiest of family days, it received equal billing. Happy birthday, happy memories, Beth.

Belated Happy Birthday, Beth!

Eleven years later, I still grieve, but differently now. (More like today's poem.)

Life is ever rich and short.

Very wise, emotional wisdom.

May your next birthday be more completely joyous.

That was a beautiful, if melancholy, birthday. But sometimes that seems what birthdays are supposed to be... time to reflect on your life. Here in Japan people will very often not start thinking of themselves on their birthdays and wedding days, but instead give thanks to their parents, especially their mothers, for bringing them into the world. I guess that's what it's all supposed to be about: thanks.

Trees and cairns, markers of place and time.

ah.. sorry about the grief, and glad for the birthday. Life is so full, so robustly, achingly full of these painful juxtapositions. The way they pull us in all directions, it hurts and we know for sure we are alive. Sweet of you to share this really tender poste. Thanks.


I cried when I read your first sentence.It reminded me so much of what I felt when my mother died two years ago.
Now, when I think about her, I still get tears in my eyes, but it is not a sad tears. I know she is with me where ever I go, because I carry her in my heart. And, you Beth, will have smile on your face when you think all the beautiful moments you shared with your mother.
Have a beautiful belated birthday.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.