Saturday, January 19, 2013

More on birthdays

My recent post regarding birthdays was hopelessly incomplete. I really didn't explain anything meaningful.

Why don't I subscribe to the birthday tradition?

Just because it's normal? Just to be different? Just to bolster my reputation as a contrarian? No, no and no.

I'm not officially against birthdays by the way. No more than I'm against Christmas gifts or marriage or owning pets. I'm not interested in opposing these things or convincing others to abandon them.

It's just that as a poet who has learned what I've learned I know that we must learn to question our culture and traditions because this species is failing to evolve. The status quo is a path to destruction. The nature of all species is to eventually fail. Extinction is almost inevitable and the unsustainability of almost all we do in North American culture supports this idea fully. I don't say these things off the cuff by the way. I have very full explanations for every statement. If readers would challenge me in the comments section I would happily explain anything I've claimed in greater detail.

So - I've learned not to do things just because it's what we've always done. So when I dispense with tradition and treat each phenomenon as something to be questioned I find that with birthdays the cons outweigh the pros according to my own priorities.

In essence: As someone who sees the good in people as far more relevant then the bad; sees the miraculous quality of your existence, I feel we should make each other feel special every day. When we go out of our way to celebrate a birthday there is always, should one consider it, a question of motive. Is it out of a sense of duty or habit rather than true joy at your having been born? Not that that's a big deal. But there are often spectres of reciprocity lurking in the shadows of the mind. Many people do occasionally suffer some degree of guilt or insecurity because of a forgotten date or failure to reciprocate (at all or at the same level of expense).

This society is a material commercial marketplace disaster and I have deep remorse for all the pointless gifts that get buried in the ground. How sad that in most circles creative offerings are not respected. A symptom of our society's tremendous failing to realize that all humans are artists of every ilk, with such activity marked as the privilege of the sterile pop culture marketplace elite.

It occurs to me that material gifts should occur on the occasion we stumble upon something that we know someone particular would love - instead of all these mandatory purchases which pile-up, demanding bigger homes and bigger landfills.

But like I said - not a big deal. There are a few select people with which I recognize birthdays to some degree because I find it useful in that particular circle. But I never expect to receive any acknowledgement at all on January 7th. And for the last few years I actually would never have noticed the date's arrival if not for some good-hearted naive pal pointing it out on Facebook!

1 comment:

Robb McLean said...

Oh crap! January 7th? I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday! ;-)~