Sunday, February 6, 2011

So, I was too gloomy yesterday morning to fool with this little exercise and it shames me to admit it. Too gloomy & shiftless to do anything other than read the paper & nurse my cuppa Folger's Instant, w/ a bit o' milk, just as my folks drank it - but all the while grateful, grateful to have the leisure to have spent a morning thus. All the while knowing that it didn't & doesn't really matter one whit [excellent word, no? whit] whether or not I took the time to note that it was on this day (yesterday) in 1784 that Nancy Hanks Lincoln was born. In 1848, Mrs. Lincoln had been in her grave, her spare flesh mortifying, her bones settling out in a rotten box of boards assembled by her husband & their 9 year old son; some 30 years.
It was 5 Feb 1848 [the year of revolution, crazy year], what would've been Nancy's 64th birthday [think of that - how differently might things have gone, have been for her son. for that matter, might as well & just as pointlessly wonder what if her daughter Sarah, Abe's much loved sister, hadn't perished giving birth, that regular old every day death-defying crucible.) Anyway - where was I? Ah: Myra Maybelle Shirley began her own hard life on 5 Feb. 1848, down near [I discover] Carthage, Missouri. Before it was over, by way of a bullet, Belle Starr, The Bandit Queen, had earned a shitload of notoriety.
So what's the deal w/ birthdays? Just a little discipline, just an invitation to note Nancy's coming into the world, to remember Abe's mom & ponder what she might have been like before she met rough Tom Lincoln. To think on Belle & her hard old life. Feeling sorry for dead people, not wanting them to be forgotten - that's how a nephew of mine once characterized my enterprises. Maybe so. But it's also an opportunity for gratitude, for the pure luck of being born to a life that allows for sloth, for lingering over the papers w/ a cup of instant coffee, yet mindful that I have interesting work waiting for me once I get my head together. Thank you, Gracious Spirit, Whimsical Fate, et. al.
And now it is the 6th. Five months out from a big-deal birthday of my own. Never mind that; It is of course the 100th anniversary of the birth of an Irish boy-baby over in Illinois, who really did grow up to be the President of the United States.
Oh, the parties were dancey, / The decorations fancy
In the years of Ron and Nancy, '

But it's also the anniversary of the birth (in 1838) of another actor, the great & celebrated Sir Henry Irving, a most extraordinary man of the theatre. 6 Feb 1665 was when Queen Anne, of Great Britain was born and well aware I am that my crummy little life is way more fortunate than hers, autonomy-wise. And (in 1756) of a most complex & problematic fellow Aaron Burr, and it;s the 99th birthday of Eva Braun, the romantic girl who won the bent & nasty heart of a charismatic politician. There; I gave myself the shivers.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that you don't want them to be forgotten. It is opening up a little of their world to us and I am learning ever so much. Thanks!