Sunday, April 22, 2007

tarnished magnificence

J surprised me with tickets to a show last night; a concert entirely composed of two Beatles albums, Let It Be and Abbey Road. It was an intimate gathering, only a hundred or so people at best. It was a terrific night; great vibe, the energy was perfect, and J and I having a wonderful time.

There was a point during the show where the entire audience was singing together, voices grooving with the band on several songs in a row, J and I joining in. Singing words of wisdom, let it be.

I can't help thinking that if we all came together, to sit in community and sing, what a brighter world it would be. How in those few moments all one hundred of us (ride with me on the projection train here) came together in shared understanding of great music, of personal memories, and in that spirit created our own collective moment in time.

And I thought about how each of us is magnificent; and tarnished, and how beautiful that makes us. I wish we were more freely able to acknowledge our own magnificence every single day, and allow others and ourselves to rub our dull spots shiny again.

Today we shared several hours with good friends we hardly ever see. Sitting in San Francisco in outdoor cafes drinking bloody marys on a Sunday discussing books, film, politics, and the world.

How was it that I was given a toddler get out of jail free card this weekend, you ask?

Because it's my birthday tomorrow, and with a combination of efforts I was given an entire weekend of lovely gifts; time alone with J, seeing a rare show, a lazy afternoon with friends, even a movie. I've needed this entirely; I've suffered through some of the worst weeks of my professional career lately, so much so I haven't even been able to write about it here.

But as I sit here I feel so blessed. A bit more ancient perhaps, although J promises I look much younger than thirty seven would suggest and I promised to believe him. My tarnished parts, some old, some new, have come along on this journey with me for better or for worse, and the sum of my experiences has carried me forward. It's not always made sense, and it's not always been easy, but it's wholly mine.

And I'd not trade any of my journey for the place I get to be in today, tarnished parts and all.

51 comments:

thailandchani said...

Sounds like a wonderful couple of days!

And you think you are getting old, eh? I graduated high school the year you were born. Ya wanna talk about old?

Dude?

May you have a blessed birthday~



Peace,

~Chani

Joker The Lurcher said...

happy birthday! another aries! or maybe taurus? my birthday is 15 april and my husbands is 21 april (he gets the national anthem played on his as he shares it with the queen). we are having an april babes party as we are sharing it with two other friends.

Marymurtz said...

Ah, a fellow survivor of the 80's adolescence--Zena Jeans anyone?

You're only a couple of years behind me. This is when it starts to feel exhausting, but my older siblings tell me we'll laugh at how tired we thought we were in our 30's once we get to 50.

I'm happy you had a good birthday weekend and sorry your work life has been hellish. That's a bad skid to go through, but makes weekends like you describe all the sweeter.

Happy Birthday!

Joshua said...

Happy birthday from an old (26) Aries! :)

urban-urchin said...

happy birthday jen. i'm awfully glad you were born.

Felicia said...

Have no fear, I'm sure those who love you only see the shine, not the tarnish...
now at 40, that's a different matter!

happy birthday!

meno said...

You do look much younger than 37 my dear. This i know for sure. Have a happy day tomorrow.

Sounds like a lovely weekend. I love San Francisco. I wish i were there.

flutter said...

I would think you were amazing if you looked 37, 12 or 100. Happy birthday, sister.

Hel said...

HUGE pre-birthday hug.

And I am glad your wonderous journey took you past my door.

Susanne said...

Happy birthday. Yes, it sounds like you had a wonderful experience. (And you know that I think singing is good for your soul...)

And yes, 37 starts to feel old, but I can assure you 39 feels younger than that...

kiki said...

That concert sounds so wonderful - I'm wondering if it's the Fab Five (is that even the right name?) The band that does Beatles albums perfectly? I heard them once on the Howard Stern show and wept with beauty of their incredible sounds.

Happy Birthday beautiful Jen. My world is infinitely brighter with your tarnished magnifigence - I'm so glad I found you. xo

Blog Antagonist said...

A lot of people dismisseded Lennon as a hippie flake, but in many ways, he was ahead of his time.

Hope you had a great birthday!! I'm sure you don't look a day over 17.

bubandpie said...

Thanks for this reminder. I was in a grouchy mood yesterday at church, and the biggest obstacle to faith for me was the idea that God is somehow pleased by all the blemished, smelly people with their horrible earnest faces and awkward swaying... I'm not usually such a misanthropist, but this post is just what I needed to restore my faith that it is our tarnished bits that make us lovable.

Em said...

I turned 37 a couple of months ago... we're the same vintage. Happy birthday... 37 is not a bad place to be.

Tabba said...

Happy Birthday, you.
It sounds like a pretty wonderful weekend. Good for you. It sounds like you needed that time to regroup and recharge.

Beck said...

Hey, you share a birthday with my dad, my friend Lisa and my cousin Cameron! It's a day PACKED full of birthdays - and all of good, hands-on, get-to-work people.

Andrea said...

Happy Birthday!

QT said...

Happy Birthday woman! I'm glad you got a nice weekend squeezed in there. It rejuvenates the soul.

So glad our paths have crossed in this lifetime.

Lucia said...

Happy birthday chica!

I love those two words together...tarnished and magnificent. Tarnished magnificence. I felt a little teary when I read this post.

Bob said...

many happy returns of the day.

slouching mom said...

happy birthday, jen.

sounds like it was a sweet birthday celebration for one of the sweetest people i know.

but what's up at work? yikes!

Gwen said...

Happy Birthday, you baby, you! See, I'm turning 38 in a couple of weeks, so I feel fully justified in calling you a baby. Heh.

Glad you had such a lovely weekend, especially after a rough go of it, and in celebration of your day.

Oh, The Joys said...

Happy Birthday! That sounds like the perfect way to celebrate. Sing!

Denguy said...

Happy birthday, young lady.

NotSoSage said...

Happy Birthday, Jen!

I'd love to sit and sing a song with you...tarnish and all.

xo

(And I hope that things get better, career-wise.)

Mayberry said...

Happy birthday, magnicificent mama!

carrie said...

Hope your birthday is as wonderful as you are.

That concert sounds idyllic -- like hearing Dave Matthews sing "Imagine" one fine summer day way back when . . . aaaah - memories.

Cheers!!

Carrie

Karen Forest said...

Happy Birthday!

I am so glad that you had time where you were able to.....reconnect. I hope things at work look up for you soon.

You make a difference for everyone around you.....I am sure of it.

nomotherearth said...

I believe absolutely in the healing powers of music - especially when it's shared with others.

Happy Birthday!

deb said...

Happy birthday. I like that bit

"And I thought about how each of us is magnificent; and tarnished, and how beautiful that makes us. I wish we were more freely able to acknowledge our own magnificence every single day, and allow others and ourselves to rub our dull spots shiny again."

I think I need a little rubbing to shine up my dulls spots. Take care.

Bon said...

happy birthday, to your tarnished bits and the rest, all magnificent.

i shall eat the rest of Oscar's birthday cupcakes in your honour. i thank you for the excuse.

Jocelyn said...

What tender beauty you bring to your writing.

I know it's hokey, but that Coca-Cola commercial from my youth, the whole "I'd like to teach the world to sing..." ad, planted the seeds of what you write about here. It can be shiny and lovely. It can.

theflyingmum said...

HooYa! Happy Birhtday! I loved your comments about acknowledging our magnificence. there's a quote by Nelson Mandella about this - wish I could remember it right now - but I thought of that as I was reading you today.
Lovely post, thank you.

Julie Pippert said...

Happy Birthday!

That sounds absolutely wonderful---so glad you got to go adn enjoyed it so much!

And as to how great your mind (my mind?) is...only today I posted about the need to feel a part of something instead of apart.

J Fife said...

What wonderful thoughts. Hope your birthday is magnificent.

crazymumma said...

Happy Birthday. May the year bring you great joy.

Another moment of musical serendipity....did you note the first song on the CD I sent to you?

liv said...

Happy Birthday! I hope outside of your wonderful weekend things are going well. Sending lots of love--

mamatulip said...

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful weekend; it's much deserved...

...happy early birthday. :)

Desitin's Child said...

Happy birthday tomorrow!

cce said...

I've read a lot of birthday wishes for people's children in the blogosphere but never a blogger celebrating herself so eloquently. This is a really nice post and speaks volumes. You are healthy, wealthy with love and very wise.
Happy Birthday.

Anjali said...

I hope you have a very happy birthday. And I hope things go more smoothly at work.

Aliki2006 said...

Gorgeous post, really beautiful. I wish I had read it last August, when I turned 37. I felt so very tarnished then!

KC said...

Such a deserving way to spend a weekend. I'm so glad you got that time.

And work- sorry. I really hope it cycles up soon.

And, sister, happy sweet day today. We are all celebrating you and the love you bring this world.

love you

Lillithmother (Lil) said...

child-free weekends are so rejuvenating aren't they - Babe & I just finished ours as well...

Ok, about being 37? P U L E E Z E !! It ain't about the age of yer body, it's the age of yer soul sista! Happy Birthday!!

Love & lotsa candles,
Lil xo

Mrs. Chicky said...

Happy Birthday! Your birthday weekend sounds delicious.

Momish said...

Happy birthday, friend. May they always be as good if not better as time and you go on.

Cheers!

Deezee said...

and a belated bday to you! sounds like you did the celebrating in a wonderful way!

Kyla said...

Happy belated birthday. You deserved the toddler free time. :)

Ruth Dynamite said...

Let it be! Happy birthday and many more.

Binky said...

I go away from my blog (and the blogs of others) for a few days and look what happens--you go and have a birthday. You are one of the bloggers that really makes me feel the gap when I don't get to check in for a few days.

The happiest of birthday wishes for a new year bringing you that much closer to where you want to be.

metro mama said...

I'm just getting caught up on my blog reading. Happy birthday Jen! Enjoy your trip South.