and time...it still marches on

if anyone here is a fan of They Might Be Giants, then you'd know the "older" song:

you're older than you've ever been
and now you're even older!
and now you're even older!
and now you're even older!
you're older than you've ever been
...and now you're even older...
...and now you're older still.

tiiiiime...is marching on!
and tiiiime....
...is still marching oooooon!

that song's been stuck in my head all day. on my bio-mom's side, there's a quirkly little traditional joke among the women: they never claim a day over the age of 29. my bio-mother's been 29 for the past 29 years. when my older sister, *k*, turned 29, there was much joking and laughing and pointing, but i realized on that day it was a sort of initiation into something. she was no longer an older child of the family, a young woman with all those things young women possess and lack. no, she was a woman, and accepted into the ranks of the women on my bio-mom's side.

the women on my bio-mom's side of the family have never liked my bio-dad. never. and, being the spitting image of him, i was always my bio-father's daughter and, therefore somehow, their enmity of him transferred to me. i suffered horrible, subtle abuses at my aunts' hands, and they continuously allowed my male cousin to beat the crap out of me when i was a child and laughed about it later. somehow, i always knew that when that day came and i finally turned 29, never to age another day again, i would never be allowed to wear that tacit badge of...whatever it was they had. i looked upon my twenty-ninth birthday with a mixture of curiosity and dread.

and as that day has come, today, i find i have not spoken to my bio-mother in over two years. passage into my twenty-ninth year will go quite unremarked by the very people who had fixed this day in my mind from the very beginning. one of the girls at work asked me if i will continue with the tradition, and never age a day over 29, and quite honestly i told her, "i don't know." the laughter has gone out of the joke, and the specialness has fled with the mystery which, i know, would have always been denied me anyway. my bio-mother's people never loved me. i was a sanchez daughter, and the sanchez age proudly. for some reason, now that i think about it, i had always somehow believed that at least by turning 29 i would gain some acceptance from my bio-mother's family. but the day has come and is quite anticlimactic, and i feel bad, almost, for that it has so little meaning to me.

i wish the day had passed completely unremarked, to be honest. but it was my twenty-ninth birthday, and i found i couldn't quite keep my mouth shut this year, like i had with so many others. but i have always hated my birthday, ever since my thirteenth. i became a "teenager," and it was the day my bio-dad withheld his love and showed me his hatred and distrust of women. he called me, a virgin whose body hadn't even showed signs of changing yet, a slut. every birthday he sought to change me, force me into places and clothes and actions that would turn me into something of which he could approve and control. i hated my birthday. it was the worst day in all the year, when i would be reminded most how much he despised what and who i was.

now i just wish i could ignore it. my life hasn't exactly been something worth celebration, anyway. but at least i'm still capable of learning and gaining wisdom. pronoia isn't all about fun and Funk and communing with the Great Flashy Disco Ball in the Sky. it's about the darkness and the light, about loving the dark, ugly things more than you love them. terrorists, wife-beaters, and Starbuck's are just as necessary to the fabric of the multiverse as hippies, recycling, and forgiveness. it's all One. there is no light without darkness, no love without indifference, no Funk without Fuck.

and i suppose a thing i have learned to mark my own passage into the mysterious realm of no-longer-quite-young but stepping-through-the-doorway-into-Prime is that perhaps i cannot have both. some are blessed to serve their gods, have Funk, and also have marriage and children. such people are a thousand times blessed. this gift is not for everyone, and i imagine the burdens and perils are just as amplified as the blessings.

i have come to realize this gift is not for me. peace with this knowledge will be a long time coming, but at least i've already achieved acceptance. this does not mean, however, the universe is not at this moment conspiring to shower me with its own blessings. it's just that the only blessing i cared about and wanted was the one that was not for me. this doesn't mean i should be closed to what is meant for me, and given time i think i will learn to be content with it.

and i suppose it's just one more mark in how i have grown. my passage into maidenhood and womanhood were marked by shame, or not marked at all. i never mentioned a single birthday in my twenties. but this? an age that i had always lived knowing was somehow special...perhaps i will not be initiated into anything by anybody, or welcomed to a side of family that has never welcomed me before, or even laugh at a single shared inside joke with people who also lived with this special age as a Special Thing. perhaps not. i am accustomed to this. momentous events in my life have, one and all, gone overlooked and unremarked. perhaps it is just the way in the life of delena.

but my own knowledge, my own hard-won wisdom, and my own acceptance of difficult things and the letting go of priceless-yet-fruitless dreams, will be my own initiation.

may the Funk be with you.


Greggo said...

for some of us, at some point, birthdays denote the passage of time, and nothing more. i always wait for something more, and am only ever disappointed. but what you say is true, and what i have been living these long months: acceptance. of the inevitable, of the difficulties that await us, but which we will, with hope and love, conquer. and while letting go of the dreams that we were never to attain may sound like giving up, it's really the only way to find your way to whatever's left, rather than wallowing in pointless longing.

again, i wish you a happy birthday, and a beginning to the happy life that awaits you.

Jane said...

Happy Birthday, you beautiful Goddess!

Anonymous said...

You are beginning this year in a place of glorious funkalicious happiness!
Happy Birthday!!!