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Honoring my mother: When I’m 64

Every year on one’s birthday, the feel-good enzymes rush out and inspire one to be overly reflective, spritely, and then prone to do something special and particularly positive. As the years add up however, the little red devil in your mind whispers, says who? Is there a rule somewhere that we do not know about, which dictates us to be pensive, melodramatic and mushy on our birthdays? Why not on ordinary days, like giving it a go 365 days straight?

All I can imagine right now are bricks piled on top of each other, and age being as redundant as that. Sure, while the end result of a pile of bricks transforms into a tangible structure, then commemorating such a feat may understandably be the sensible thing to do. Perhaps this is why we honor each birthday with a cheer. Hurray.

On a different note, I never imagined that that song by the Beatles would be relevant to me, as early on, I never really thought I would ever reach the age in that Ringo song. Starting at 21, I left home and rambled far into that northern city where I believed one’s dreams dwelt.

Lived for a while on the back of a pickup truck, and coming down only when it was time to sing. Travelled the far provinces with friends, coming down only when it was time to hit the stage. Romantically in love with the essence of the song “Rambling Man” and trying to live it to the hilt. Rock and roll, the great late Pepe had said. That rock and roll life which he claimed was also  “pangit”. Failing badly, or rather being sadly disappointed with its illusions, crashing down, rising up, marrying and starting a family, because I thought I was responsible enough. Crash number two.

Returning to the hometown, a beat-up soul and trying to pick up the pieces of a broken man (another song, that), at 24 and struggling for the legal tender. Then workshops with children, rediscovering music and traveling again. Lots of water under the bridge I sometimes always liked to burn.

Till here. So what is left to reflect at 64? My partner still teases the child within, that selfish artistic ego that dwells behind this mask and loves to throw puns at the world. She reads my mind so beautifully sometimes yet smirks at that dreadful place where Dylan sings 24-7. Despite all, she insists she is my muse and I believe she is.

But enough of all musings and pensive moments. At 64, all bets are off, all masks are off. Circus is open, come on all takers.


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