Monday, March 27, 2006

... mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain

My son Michael is twenty-five years old today. My brother-in-law Wally has his birthday also today ... is it fifty he turns, or is it forty-eight? Is he my brother Jim's age or my brother Pic's? I never can remember... My grandson Owen is twenty-three days old. My brother Mark turned fifty-eight on March 24. My brother Jim turned the big five-oh on March 16. The very next day, St. Patrick's Day, my son David turned thirty-two . Two days later, the Solemnity of St. Joseph marked four years to the day that my mother Nickey D'Orazio died. On that same day, a few hours later, my Uncle Angelo D'Orazio died. It has been four years since we celebrated two family funeral masses, one after the other. My son Simon died on March 3, 1982, twenty-four years ago. His brother Eric died on February 13, 1984. On the twenty-fifth of next month, both the cruelest and the one with shoures soote, my son Ish turns twenty-one. My sister Marguerite turns fifty-four on the seventh of this same sweet, cruel April. Sister-in-law Mary has a birthday on April 1, but I don't know how old she is. One of her daughters has a birthday on that same day. Sister-in-law Gerry turned fifty-nine the last day of February.

My father Nick D'Orazio died in March of 1985, but I don't remember the date. I think my mother-in-law, Helen Stabosz, died in March also, but I don't remember the date or the year.

I turned fifty-six years and 1/3 years old on March 1.

"Birth, death, and copulation, that's all there is," said T.S. Eliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Marvin Gaye quoted him on one of his album covers. Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939 and was shot to death by his father on April 1, 1984, one day shy of his forty-fifth birthday.

All this was a long time ago, I
remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth,
certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had
seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different;
this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like
Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these
Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old
dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their
gods.
I should be glad of another death.

- T. S. Eliot, The Journey of the Magi

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Rae.Thanks for the birthday serenade. I found your blog one day when I was googling Stabosz. Give Mike,Dave and Jim a belated Happy Birthday from me. Tell Reet and Rob we are praying for them and Owen. Send everyone my love. Wally