Wednesday, April 21, 2010

At Almost Thirty

My 30th birthday is this Sunday. I've already received a card from Nana and Grandpy (not allowed to open it yet, but thanks in advance Nana and Grandpy) and three small gifts from the Gilchrests of Waco, TX (slightly disappointed that the included Starbucks Gift Card was not for the $1,000,000 that Eric had penned on the sleeve). The rest of you... let's go. Let's get those gifts here.

If you're looking for gift ideas here are the only three I ever and always ask for and really only ever want if I want of anything: books, coffee, t-shirts. Maybe it's sad, sure. I'm a grown man and I wear t-shirts everyday (it's in the job description, though!). Maybe it speaks of being content. Of having the things that really matter: health, salvation (as much as I can be sure of something like that -- oohh, there's some theology for you), family, friends, two really wonderful and special children and the stillness and passion of loving and being loved. But if you're looking for gift ideas, I only asked that the coffee be of good quality; used books and Goodwill t-shirts are preferred.

I suppose at this point in my life I should muse over the past. That I should entertain and relish those things I am thankful for, those things I have learned from, those things I have striven and attained and those things I've yet to attain. And I suppose I've done that as I approach this day. But not more or less than I've done it in approaching any other day -- or tried to do. Yet one thought in the past months that has circled the drain of my 20s has been my enjoyment of fairy tales. I know on Twitter I've mentioned that I like them more at almost 30 than I did as a child. I'm not sure why exactly. But get past your conception of the word. Though here's a perfect sermon on why you should and can(seriously listen to it. It's inspiring. And on Easter!).

And here's Chesterton on it:

"In the fairy tale an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition.
A box is opened and all evils fly out.
A word is forgotten and cities perish.
A lamp is lit and love flies away.
An apple is eaten and the hope of God is gone.”

And Tolkien on it:

[Fairy tale] does not deny the existence of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance. It denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final a fleeting glimpse of Joy;
Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

I find great pleasure in seeing the imaginative side of things. Seeing things maybe as not what they are but maybe what they could be. Sure, it's not always the realistic viewpoint, but it's also not idyllic. My worldview takes into account much that isn't right and allots for it. But it sees past that -- or tries to. Maybe this is of fairy tales. Maybe I just walk around with the magical realist viewpoint. Maybe I'm crazy and maybe my 30s will fix all of this.

But for right now, at almost 30, give me that warm hand I love to hold, and lips I love to kiss, that merriment of laughter I love hearing every morning, some coffee, a crisp t-shirt, an old book, ripped jeans, some sunshine, a cool breeze, maybe a birthday party at a giant indoor playground for adults with lots of bouncy things to bounce on and into, a melody with a hook and a beat.

Tell me it's all a fairy tale. And I'll tell you it's my life. My incomprehensible joy and happiness that is based on the incomprehensible condition of me: a man who insists upon always wearing t-shirts and ripped jeans.

1 comment:

Gil House said...

When I wrote $1,000,000 onto the starbucks gift card, I did so assuming that fairy tales were true, and if I wished upon a star, my dreams for you would come true. Sorry that didn't work out :)