Birthday Blues

You’re on fire, Colette. Why look so troubled?

Dear Marcus,

it's your birthday today, the candles are building to an auspicious number (at least in this country), and I've been thinking all week about what to say to you.

There's the obvious: eat better, look after yourself, look after those who depend on you,  get enough rest, honor the elderly, help those in need, and so on. All that good, grown up stuff.

And here's to your demons and to mine, because sharing demons is as good and ancient a habit as sharing angels. Perhaps demon and angel are one, as psychologist James Hillman says:

“…each person comes into the world with something to do and to be. The myth says we enter the world with a calling. Plato, in his Myth of Er, called this our paradeigma, meaning a basic form that encompasses our entire destinies. This accompanying image shadowing our lives is our bearer of fate and fortune.”

I won't lie to you, especially not today: there's no end to the road until you're at the end of your road. The good news is that everybody's got a calling and that it wants out. It's not the calling that's hiding from you, but you might be hiding from your calling.

Now, I know you've got your writing. Good one. This might be it, or it might not. You won't know unless you take your ego out of it, mate. Getting in touch with your daimon means growing down from the heavens, getting that skull out of the clouds and into the earth, behind the plough, the typewriter, the desk, the workshop, the guitar, wherever you do what you do.  Dare to dig in.

Getting in touch with your fate means eminence that is not fame and that comes at a price such as devotion to repetitious, tedious practice. I know you've got issues here: you like stimulation, perhaps too much so, instant gratification. That's why they build those screen machines, simulating lives, screaming stimulants all day long. Chuck 'em, at least for today. Hillman again - I know how much you love his book:

“It’s not enough to have a good voice; you have to train the voice and devote yourself to it.”

Why not turn this next year in a year of training the voice? But now I'm preaching, ain't I? Ididn't mean to, I swear. After all, this day's for you, you can do with it what you wish. Enjoy today, work goes on tomorrow, little Capricorn from a long line of Capricorns. "Keep the invisibles attached", make them visible.

And here's your birthday blues: "Baby, Please Don't Go" (3'16''), by Big Bill Broonzy.

Cheers old chap,

4 thoughts on “Birthday Blues

    • thank you jodi, i appreciate you saying it and for how you’re saying it. perhaps there isn’t just one voice but many many voices, what do you think? it’s a paradox: as individuals, we want one voice; as writers, we need many. maybe we mean “voices” when we say “characters”. in my case, i mean training my voice for the longer songs/texts in particular. more sustained, less brilliant perhaps. go well in that new year!

  1. aww heck I missed your birthday, goat-boy, hope the flambéd cake was delicious. many happy returns of the day and the voices. King Kong is quite something, by the way. Carlye has talent.

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