18

by violingrace

18

The night of my birthday my friend and I walked around a church. It was a beautiful United Church built of stone (now modestly tarnished) and illuminated by globes of light (yellow and personal). The church itself is a block away from a very bustling area in the city.

On one side of the building I found a little space in the wall that formed a small rectangular nook. I’d like to say we stayed in that corner for half an hour and pondered life’s philosophies, but the corner felt our presence for a minute, just physicality. It was a mild evening, and though it was already dark I could sense the clouds hanging above.

It’s easy to elaborate on the big and small events of life. A spew on the affirming, gratifying, terrifying sense of legally crossing to adulthood, or an inflated, mini recollection of the church, or that picture above. How smooth it is too morph awareness into solid sense that falsely seem like the product of that time. But whether it is an obvious or hidden elaboration, how bland it would be to do the exact opposite. To recount things just as they are, without a touch of introspective idealism or reverie.

There is the unquestionable unquestioned expectation that your birthday should be your day (at least in the Western culture I’ve grown up in). And that marks a birthday as something abstract and not tangibly definable. As society, we accept and we embrace this. I think it is both unsettling and beautiful.

(Thanks for 18 years of life, to all those who have supported me – in big ways and small!)

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