Extra-Special Birthday Edition!!!

No, no, no. It's not my birthday. Not yet, anyway. It is, rather, that time of year around which all of my friends have selfishly decided to arrange their birth dates. Let's get organized here, people! Couldn't we spread them out just a little more, and maybe make them a little less immediately-after-Christmas? I swear, it's like the holidays begin for me a marathon of gift-giving every year. And I forget more birthdays than I remember! Totally; totally. I'm awful. You have to be known by me for, like, at least ten years before I start saying to you: "Wait. Wait. Isn't your birthday some time this month?"

Case in point: My adopted brother (adopted by me, that is), "Anonymous," just had his thirtieth last Friday, and I failed to plan for it. Granted, I didn't hear about the party until about a week beforehand, but I should have been better prepared all the same. I should have realized the significance of this year and--when

A Lie of the Mind

schedule conflicts were being arranged--included March 23rd as a no-go date for rehearsal. Alas, I did not, and so missed the digging of the shin.

I can be short-sighted like that, but it's also possible that I'm in denial. Anonymous' birthday kicks off the birthday schedule for my troika of oldest friends, affectionately dubbed by my mother as "

The Three Musketeers

." Anonymous is in March, I in June and Mark chimes in in August (It


August, right, buddy? [Man. Do I suck.]). This year, we are thirty. Ye Gods, the wonder of a round number.

It may not be wonderful, or even wondrous, yet the turning over of another decade of this life makes for some serious reflection. Even eschewing the coincidental little deadlines I set for myself at a very sage 21 years of age (see


), Year Thirty holds some significance for me. It holds significance in the universal subconscious as well. Jesus is widely believed to have begun his ministry in earnest 'round about that year of his life. Hamlet is often interpreted to be just thirty when he begins contemplating his readiness. And, of course, there was that

hit television extravaganza

that took the airwaves by storm for about a season and a half. My hope had been to celebrate my thirtieth year since kicking and screaming into this world in Italia, busking in

Piazza Navona

, Roma. As time inexorably jogs forward, however, the prospect of that trip grows slimmer and slimmer. Nigh anorexic. Leaving me with the question: What, then, can I do to celebrate whatever it is I am and do on that very special day?

I put it out to the universe. But it is not for this reason I 'blog at you today. Nor is it to point up the bizarre nature of an actor's schedule as it relates to his ever-patient friends (i.e., "Sure, I'll be in your wedding. That is, if I don't get a gig. Even if I get a gig, I'll try to get off, of course. Of course, if it's tech week or a performance there's nothing I can do. But count me in! Maybe..."). No, I am compelled to write today because of other people's birthdays, and the potential artistry in honoring them.

Consider all the people you've known in the course of your life. Consider not even everyone, but just those people you've held a conversation with more than once. There are probably a whole lot more than 365 at this point (not to presume too much upon the age of my [5] readers or anything). So there is the potential that every day of the year, someone you've known is celebrating his or her self; indeed, on some days, more than one is. How many people do you not speak to anymore, who are turning a year over at this moment? How many have you forgotten entirely who might be remembering you attending their sixth birthday, right now? And just what the hell is my point?

Well, I find it humbling to contemplate this. It reminds me that every day we make a choice to honor the people we've loved and who've loved us with our actions, or to not. UU's believe in the interconnectedness of all living things, and when it comes to other people, we're supposed to respect that particular interconnectedness even more. Similar to a bunch of actors on stage at a given moment, we all have to depend on each other for things to turn out right. It's frightening. It's awesome. We have to take it for granted somewhat just to get by, not panic or become mad with power. But every once in a while, it's good to be reminded how things really are.

You say it's your birthday? Well it's my birthday too; yeah. Happy birthday to you . . .