Sunday, November 17, 2013

My 80th Birthday!!

November 17, 2013

On our kitchen table is Birgitta's birthday card together with Asian Lilies with lit candles in a candelabra. In the background window are her glorious lavender streptocarpus flowers. The saguaro candelabra was made by my dad as one item in an exclusive line of pottery for Goldwater's Department Store of Phoenix back in the 1950s. Yep, that was the same Goldwater who eventually became the senator from Arizona. He and Dad were friends. I was so glad Birgitta put that on the table!

Birgitta's card outside
Birgitta's card inside
Birgitta's husband with birthday gift
I've always wanted a pair of red suspenders!!

Notice Birgitta's reference to "Oceana of the North" on the card inside. That is (almost) the title to a poem written to her when we didn't know if we would ever see each other again. I was living in Provo, Utah, working with the Eyring Research Institute. She and I had been corresponding as friends for over two years, since we had met in September 1976 in Pasadena after a concert she had given as professional singer visiting from Sweden. She had telephoned to say she would be visiting her relatives in California and perhaps could stop in Utah on the way. She could stay for three days. The trip didn't materialize, but here is the poem. Her call was magical. (We would marry 15 years later!--i.e., 20+ years ago)

To Oceana from the North
For three days or a lifetime
Which now will it be?
Your call evokes my wonder
In new life beneath the sea.

Oceana, do you call me
From within or from without?
Or are you like the ancient siren
Come to conquer me with doubt?

I need eternal partners
To help with creative work
And not another mistress
Who can only see herself.

Will you help me love my people
As I try to serve them well?
Though they may never see me
In ways I can never tell.

I need you to believe in me
In spite of craziness.
Yes, that’s a monstrous challenge
With no promises for bliss.

But if Grace will smile upon us
I know I can commit
For the rest of this short lifetime
Not another grand exit!

Feb 79

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