Happy Birthday to me!
I’m celebrating again today. No, it’s not really my actual birth day but I did receive some birthday presents today. And it seems that the surprises in this week will continue. I’m loving it!
Some time ago I lost something precious to me, today I regained it and I spent a good amount of time this morning just grinning and savouring its pleasure again.
A nephew, who lives and works in Wales, has been telling me for almost three months that he has some gifts for me – and today they arrived. I had forgotten about them in the usual business of daily life, but this morning the postman knocked on the door just as I was getting into the bath and they had arrived. My son opened the door and accepted the post from him. He thought it was something we’d ordered online for him so he was extremely excited to receive the parcel.
Thinking he was right in his assumptions I glanced at the envelope and said he could open it although it was addressed to me. Suddenly I stopped him and took the package back and peered at the post mark for a few seconds. It was then that I started to smile from inside. It was also then that I recognised the handwriting on the envelope. Surprisingly the neat script was now familiar.
Turning the envelope over I saw the single word: Eventually! I laughed and told M that it was from her cousin in Wales and I ripped the envelope open. As I took the items out the smiles tumbled from me as well. The birthday card inside did not bear my name instead he had written “I know, I know” on the front of it. Nina Simone (The very best of), Ella Fitzgerald (Gold) and Aretha Franklin (Respect) CDs sparkled in their pristine cases in my hand, and then an even deeper pleasure washed all over me: Joseph Brodsky – A Part of Speech. At Last. I had it back.
... And so much more as well.
It seems wrong somehow to love the pleasure I get from this book – but I do. I’ll not deny it. For the next thirty minutes I flicked through the pages and delved back into beautiful moments conjured up by the spectacular choice of word combinations. To me this book is pure joy. Pure unadulterated joy. This man who knows me, my nephew, has given me another taste of joy that another man who never knew me, Joseph Brodsky, created.
My original (that I carelessly lost) was a gift given to me by a Russian friend who also loves words. We have been reunited.
In one act of love I have received the very best of respect, gold and joy. Happy Birthday to me!
A Part of Speech
... Life, that no one dares
To appraise, like that gift horse’s mouth,
bares its teeth in a grin at each
encounter. What gets left of a man amounts
to a part. To his spoken part. To a part of speech.