On my 74h Birthday

I received a sweet gift from granddaughter Rita on Mother’s Day when she posted the photo below to her Facebook page.  “I keep it in my room” she said, when  told her I had

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Dianne holding Connie, Christmas, 1961 (FXS)

forgotten it existed.

My Dad took the picture of my baby daughter, Connie, on her first Christmas at home with my parents. My Dad had a knack for taking the most adorable photos of children. (see the photo I posted for Mother’s Day this year).

The rest of the day, Rita’s friends posted comments such as you look like your grandmother and I wonder what your baby will look like. (Rita is nine months pregnant and ready to pop!)

I keep my paternal grandmother’s photo on my dresser, and am really pleased that at least one of my grandchildren has an interest in the past, i.e., ancestors, a group member of which I am becoming rapidly.

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Brother Dunstan our Benedictine friend, handyman and friend John, and neighbor and artist friend Kathy stopped by yesterday. Dunstan was on his way out-of-town to take a flight to Korea, where he will deliver a paper on theology.  John was here to do a few repairs.

During a far-ranging conversation about philosophy, outer space and reform in the twelfth century Church, I shared my latest read, Lost Enlightenment: Central Asia’s Golden Age, from the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane, by S. Frederick Starr.

Kathy and I were talking about the episode of Wallender we watched Sunday night, and agreed we were upset by the living conditions of Black South Africans depicted in several scenes.  Then we talked about NGOs and funding for development and what could we cut from the National budget so that we could better fund USAID. I’d get rid of the Space Program I volunteered.  We don’t need to fly to Mars.

Now both David and John are both engineers and worked on various aspects of the space program, so both of them became mildly defensive of the program, but I know all the arguments and I don’t buy them, so they soon wandered into a discussion of how they had spent time contemplating infinity. I told them they reminded me of the scene in Animal House where the professor and his students are smoking pot and contemplating eternity.

At this point, I mentioned how according to Starr, this was exactly what led to the Sunni / Shia split, an argument over the limits of the rational mind. Where does the rational mind end and faith begin?

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Granddaughter Hannah called this morning to wish me a Happy Birthday and share her latest news.  She is working on her graduate degree in Art Education at MWC.  She is happiest pursuing art, so despite these difficult times for the millennial, I encouraged her to follow her dream.

Stick close to your dream, because if dreams die,

life is a broken-winged butterfly that cannot fly.

 

23 thoughts on “On my 74h Birthday

  1. Belated happy birthday wishes! Perhaps we need to keep the space program so humanity can survive since our destructive nature requires we must periodically relocate around the universe ’cause we’ve permanently soiled where we live.

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    • Thanks Kay. The funny thing is, I never appreciated my looks. I knew I had some intelligence because my teachers said so. However, over my lifetime, I have encountered many many people more intelligent than me.

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  2. Your family is following patterns as the generations unfold – a wonderful sense of continuity. The photo is beautiful, thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can think of several men I’d like to ship to Mars, however, the space program is nothing but a boondoggle that benefits few as far as I am concerned. Hard to justify as our infrastructure deteriorates. Plus, we need universal kindergarten and other child oriented programs before we spend more money on grown men with their toys.

      Let the private sector handle it.

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  3. Happy Birthday to you! And thanks so much for your gardening advice! What a beautiful picture of mother and babe. Your dad did indeed have the “eye.” I wish your Hannah the best too. My degree is in art. Never quite made a living from it but I’ve never been sorry and I managed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Birthday and what a wonderful picture!

    As for eternity, I have a perfect example. Presidential election cycles. As soon as an election is over, the opposition starts jockeying for position on the next one. Come to think about it, it also serves as a pretty good example of infinity.

    Liked by 1 person

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