Saturday, October 02, 2004

Saturday Night's All Right For Opiates!

I am back from my visionquest. Having travelled hundreds of miles, accidentally landing on the doorstep of the Alamo, offering up my heart's desire and returning home today with no sleep in my hair, but lots of confetti, I feel I have finally earned that last half a Vicodin in my medicine cabinet.

Now onto something more important:

My mother Faith's birthday!

I am so proud of my beautiful, brilliant, soulful, triumphant mother, who became a rock star at some point in her 60s, and now must fend off her groupies with a carpet beater. (The Cape Ann is a great way to start, but my personal favorite is The Empress of One, because it recalls that feeling you get at the end of high school when suddenly it seems that all the rules are melting, and your parents can't control you, and you are becoming yourself at such speed that everything around you looks magnified, including the stars.)

But I like all her books, like the one where a lady has an affair with the god Pan in the woods along the St. Croix River, and they save the area from horrible creeping suburbanism. No shit! (Hey, Bob Dylan isn't the only native Minnesotan to see the landscape in mythical terms.) This one is called Mrs. Demming and the Mythical Beast. Weird because I think she was writing it before Jitterbug Perfume came out. She's always had this Pan fetish.

My mother has given me innumerable gifts, some ineffable. But the ones I've been enjoying lately with glee are:

1. an appreciation of beer and baseball

2. the joy of gardening

3. cottage feelings

4. open irreverence for the Church and other hypocritical venues for the coagulation of economic and political power.

5. salty roasted peanuts in the shell

I wish she were here for her birthday instead of in Minnesota, and we could drink some beer and listen to the Dodgers kicking Giant ass on KFWB News 980, my favorite station in L.A. lately. (If you can't get sentimental about AM news/traffic/baseball radio, you might want to get your heart checked out.)

I know she'd be rooting for them all and I know she'd give props to Jose Lima for being a den mom supreme.

My mom has a special appreciation for enthusiasts, as she is one herself--and she knows the conscious choice involved in becoming and remaining an enthusiast.

My mom roots for the person who wants to "be somebody," to do something brave and useful. In her eyes, I think, it is a sin to discourage the tall poppy (and, of course, the short one) from reaching toward the sun.

My mom has also worked harder than anyone I know. I actually get tired just thinking about how hard she has worked. My hope is that now, the only work she does is the work of her soul.

Happy birthday, Mom! I hope this is your happiest and most enthusiastic year yet!



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