Happy birthday Barbara!


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Indeed, a very Happy Heroic Birthday which reinforces that one can live fully, rationally and poetically.

I will still be wishing you Happy Birthday at the next census after this one!


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Barbara - Congrats, you're 80 years young! It was great having dinner with you and the Grovers in LA a few weeks ago. It's always great seeing and talking to you. Age hasn't dulled your thinking. Keep focused on the good and the beautiful in life!

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Many, many thanks to all of you for your good wishes.

Being 80 feels very strange indeed. As I've said to friends, "I was eighteen -- I blinked once -- and here I am!"

I have no sense of what 80 is supposed to be. Birthdays have never been very important to me, and have never, as I've grown older, been troubling to me. 30 was chaos-- self-doubts, confusion, determination to solve both the self-doubts and confusion, an equal mix of ecstasy and agony. Being 40 was just fine; I was beginning to know (not just have a sense of, but know) who I was, and to like that person. 50 was great; I felt in control of my life in ways that were new and very gratifying. 60 was special; I seemed to be more powerful, both intellectully and emotionally, more centered, happier with Barbara and her choices than ever before. 70 was an occasion for thoughtfulness -- for careful thinking about what I would do with the rest of my life. But 80?

Old people are 80. What has that to do with me? Yes, there are lots of creaks and occasional groans, but Barbara, who I am, is still the same -- young and curious and involved and passionate, the old loves and loyalties untouched by the years, more 18 inside than 80. I suppose I'm living on borrowed time. I can't know how many years I have left, but that fact has little meaning to me. And so I go on as before, living my life, cherishing it, wondering what's over the next hill and eager ro find out.


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Happiest of journeys on your birthday, Barbara. I hope what lies over the next hill keeps you young at heart always ;)

~ Shane

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  • 3 weeks later...

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