Beddian Birthday occurs when the age a person is turning, is the same number as the last two digits of their birth year.
you get one in a lifetime.
that’s about all we can say about 60.
i was thinking about birthdays, and decades and parties and cake
at 10 there was a birthday party at our house. my friend from school, and my two neighbor girlfriends were included. one has to remember how unwelcoming my home was. the party was tense. my sisters were part of the gathering and i didn’t want them there. i was 10 and wanted my double digit gal friend space. i had a pixie haircut and my mom had made us these culotte jumpers. the jumpers were cute but not when your sisters were wearing them too.
at 20 i threw a party for myself inviting co-workers. we were ending a season of work together so it was also like a going away party. i secured food that was my favorite from where i grew up as a novelty, and noone really wanted to eat it. i remember feeling rather disappointed by it all. like people in attendance were just being polite
at 30 i was 8 months pregnant and steeped in unhappiness in my marriage. my first child was just 3 and i was realizing that he and i were no longer going to be just the two of us – there was a lot of celebration with his extended family, which felt terribly awkward. after that birth i spiraled into post-partum depression, but had NO idea what that was. only in hindsight was i able to put all those pieces together. my mother went all out and made a homemade rib dinner birthday feast. my brother was there – our bdays are a day apart and i remember having a really good time at that birthday. my mom’s kitchen counter was so full of dishes that she lit the candles of our favorite birthday cake on the kitchen floor. that was a good memory. i can’t even remember if my husband was there.
at 40, my second husband threw me a surprise party inviting people who he thought were my friends. they were not. awkward as get. he lacked finesse in the details. it was hosted at a gals house whom i had recently had a difference of opinion with. shortly there after the friendship ended. turns out hoopla like that. surprises were about him. not about the recipient.
at 50, i was brand new to a community. i was an empty nester. i had just bought a home, a feat i never thought possible, and in the end, not a good fit for me as you know. i got caught up in the making the impossible happen. at that time i was business focused, and later was shunned from a good portion of that town for having my own ideas and hair on my legs. sigh. i bought my own cakes and champagne and hosted my own random gig. the strangest collection of people attended. and noone ate cake. whats that about? someone asked me what 50 felt like and i described it as a springboard into the unknown. something i could feel underneath my feet. most of my 50’s sucked.
60 finds me the most isolated i’ve ever been. my emotional and physical health challenged. it’s not that i have some terminal illness – thank goodness, it’s the myriad of failings that my body continues to throw my way. it’s my mind when it gets to that overwhelm place and my day is lost, it’s a panic i have that is indescribable. it’s the depth in which my heart is broken. over and over. seemingly the memories of things thwarted just haunt me – if there is a place of letting go – i have not found it yet. lately, the phrase where were you? has shifted to where are you?? but really where the fuck were you goes back to my youth. who’s got your back. who’s got you?? who gets you? my connections to others virtual, thanks to things pandemic. oddly, i share that with you. we now have virtual connections in common in a very real way. but how connected are they. really. i tell my children — there are the things we don’t say to each other. this verbal silence causes harm. this saddens me. speak your shit. people disappear and i dislike it. i’ve distanced and detached for self preservation way too long now. a boundary. a management of emotional bandwidth with no regret. i am better for it. this is truth for me. I’ve not left others in my wake. i’ve not ghosted or abandoned. i’ve just learned to say no.
I’ll make a special dinner for my beddian birthday. one that complies with my current eating program. i’ll find joy in …well, the only food joy currently is an avocado.
i’ll have a big piece cake in a delayed gratification way ….later. maybe. can one feel indifference about birthday cake?
last night i was snuggled in a blanket reading. for a building of 200 elders i find it rather amazing how very very quiet it is. a deafening quiet at times. so so very quiet. and i love it. i had quiet years ago when i bought my house and i didn’t know what to do with it. i love and feel grateful for the privacy, and the peace of quiet. i also live in a city, so when the city awakens …there is noise. lots of noise. I also love that. quiet to me is very different from silence.
in my lifetime I steeped into three different communities. one as a new mother, the other as a single mom, and the other as an empty nester. where i live now i am the artist. a long overdue, perfect for current times way to be. each layer I felt i left some footprint, some layer of impact, something i can be proud of. when i wondered what i would be when i grew up i never thought how i would contribute to the world but i did. in my own way i was part of things bigger than myself. today i let my art be the connector. during the pandemic i joined a few new virtual groups. with consistency i ingratiate perfect strangers to me, and to my work. i continue to see that i have a volume of work that has distinction. unique to me. i am an artist. but i really need the affirming. I need the feeling that comes with the statement, “i love your work” I value the following.
how this applies to my nude work remains to be seen. i am just not making much nude work at the moment.