Thursday, March 05, 2009

turning 29

Yesterday I turned 29. It was a stellar day.

I had planned to start the day off with an early morning shoot in the winter wonderland of Inwood Hill Park, but I chickened out when I learned the temperature was at about 7 degrees. Feeling a little tired made my decision a bit easier too. So, I stayed in, read the paper, meditated and finished up a couple of loose ends before it was time to head out.

Several weeks ago, I read a short, funny article in TimeOut New York which listed 10 fun activities for the unemployed in NYC. Somewhere at number 6 or 7 was listening to free Bach organ recitals at Grace Church at 10th and Broadway. For one reason or another I hadn't been able to attend the noon recitals, but this day I could. I love Bach. I love the organ. And it was my birthday. So, I went there to enjoy celestial music in what is an august setting. The funny thing is that I had walked by this impressive church countless times and never ventured to step inside. This day I did and I was so glad.

The organ might be my favorite instrument. For me, it has always sturred up intense emotions. Usually, they're of great sadness and humility, awe and inspiration. Yesterday was no different. My eyes closed, the tears flowed effortlessly as I listened to the graceful harmonies filling the halls of the lovely church. Thoughts of appreciation and thanksgiving followed the tears. Appreciation for living to see this beautiful winter day. Appreciation for the anonymous donor, who gave me another chance at living. Appreciation for my family and the many friends who have been by my side. Appreciation for being alive. There was sadness too. Sadness especially for the many who have left us.

I wondered what brought those in the pews to spend their noon hour listening to works of the great Baroque master. I'm sure the answers are varied, but I imagine that for some there was a common desire to feel the raw, liberating energy that his somber yet beautiful compositions engender.

From Grace Church, I grabbed a lite bite and then, went to a nearby library where I read for about two hours before meeting a good friend for a wonderful birthday lunch at a Thai restaurant. She treated me generously to lunch and coffee afterwards.

The early evening was spent doing yoga. My instructor is amazing and I always feel reinvigorated by her inspiring words of courage and openness.

A chocolate birthday cake was awaiting when I arrived home. My mom and I celebrated eating a slice. We talked and had a wonderful time together. My sister will come home tonight for spring break and we all plan to have some fun this weekend. I am really excited to see her.

I am thankful for having reached this day. I am grateful. And I am hopeful about the future.


Comment Anonymous Stratman said...

Belated happy birthday!!!!

9:05 PM  
Comment Anonymous Barb said...

I am continually humbled by your abundant gratitude. I wish you many more healthy and happy birthdays!

9:03 AM  
Comment Blogger Michelle said...

Happy Birthday Duane!!

Sounda like you had an incredible day of appreciation and thanksgiving!!!

Good for you!!!

8:25 PM  
Comment Blogger Jim Anderson said...

Happy birthday Duane! Many more are to follow!

11:56 AM  
Comment Blogger Kelly Kane said...

Awww sounds like an amazing birthday, Duane! I glad you enjoyed your day -- a of course beat cancer so that you could :)


8:18 PM  
Comment Blogger Cathy Bueti said...

Sorry for the belated note....
Happy Birthday Duane!! Sounds like it was a great one! Wishing you many more happy, healthy, birthdays filled with lots of love! :)

Cathy :)

9:11 AM  
Comment Blogger Bekah said...

Good Lord, we're all getting Old ;)
Happy Belated, my dearest. I'm so pleased you had such a relaxing day. And hope that you have so much fun with your sister (and family) the rest of the week.

Just a heads up -- I got slammed with a last minute paper, and did not head to NY this week.

Pending on mid-terms, I'll let you know if I make it the weekend of the 20th. I might be re-thinking it.

However, again, Happy Birthday! Pisces are the best. ;)

Tons of Love,

1:36 PM  

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