Search This Blog

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quarter of a Century

Today I am 25 years old. That is to say, I am a quarter of a century on this earth. I am beginning my 26th year of life. I am a year older (wiser?) than I was when I turned 24. I am finally old enough to rent a car.

To celebrate my birthday my supervisor let me out of work early today. I met up with Quinn and we went to Toro, which is a tapas place not far from BMC. Our waitress spoke mainly Spanish, and so Quinn did all the talking, although I could understand enough to pick out him telling her it was my birthday. She brought us a cookie at the end of the meal, and held two burning candles in her hands while she, beaming, sang Feliz Cumpleanos.

Then I met my Mom and we went for a walk in Forest Hills Cemetery. I know that seems like a weird thing to do for my birthday but you have to go there and then you will know why it's one of my favorite places to go in Boston. It is also right at the end of my street.

So Mom and I have been trying to find e.e. cumming's grave armed with only a crappy map for a few months. We set out determined rain or shine to find it and after an hour and a half we did exactly that. The grave is hard to locate because it is amongst a different family plot, the stone is flush with the ground, and the name is written out "Edwin Estlin Cummings." It is set on a bit of an incline, and we looked around for a landmark so I could easily return. Then, straight across from us, and down the hill I saw my favorite tree in the cemetery.

It's my favorite tree because it's hollowed out and the inside has been bronzed and inscribed with this e.e. cumming's poem:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any--lifted from the no
of all nothing--human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

I took Mom down to the tree and climbed inside because something caught my eye. Since I had last been inside the tree someone had wrapped a book of cumming's poems in plastic to keep in a nook inside. I opened it and read out loud a bit. Even further back in the nook, which I had never once noticed was a journal and a pen. The journal was full of poems and messages from different visitors to the tree. Mom and I wrote our own message, and the sky opened up and began to pour.

I think this is going to be my year.


liz said...


I also think this is going to be your year.

bohopenguin said...

I remember seeing the bag in the tree when we were there! I thought it was someone's drug stash, haha. ;) The real explanation is so much better.