happy birthday!

i am sitting with sam, joshua, santana, jen, khari and shane at the end of my amazing birthday. i slept until my parents awoke me with a singing call from japan. then i had breakfast with khari, planning for our coming florida trip. i got dressed up for the evening in the a.m. cause i knew i wouldn’t be home and it was the day of boobies! my outfit had an albuquerqu theme, cowboy boots and hair combs – golden with flowers – from the thrift town there, and the dress a gift from the home of my friend sarah’s grandma’s closet in alb.

then i went to the russian baths for a crazy massage and rooms of heat. so much heat and touch is needed to even begin to excise the deep impact of these past couple weeks.

i was in one room just before the massage and this bald santa looking man with a beard walks in singing: "down by the riverside, i ain’t gonna study war no more." i love that song, so i take up the harmony and we got to church there in that room of radiant heat with ice cold spigots running out of the wall for occasional douses. after the song we talk about hard times – i tell him what i do. we talk about how if you listen to an hour of gospel music each day life seems better. i tell about the benefit, how music helps everything. he says he wants to leave me his info so i give him my locker number to leave me his info. then i leave for massage, he says enjoy. i go have an amazing amazing massage by a russian giant masseuse. steam for a bit more, dip in the ice water, rinse and go to leave and at the checkout table i get the present.

"dennis pays for you."
"for the fee, and the massage."
"who’s dennis?"
"big guy, beard? he comes everyday."
"he paid? for me?"
"yes. have a nice day."
"it’s my birthday."
"well, there you go then."

!!! how wonderful is that? i went from that wonderful place to see elizabeth mendez berry. i want to ask y’all, if you say prayers, to lift her up. elizabeth has put her heart on the front line, listening to survivors all week and opening her ability to be compassionate to them and now she needs you to all pray for her and send her your love and strength. close your eyes right now and concentrate on her name and just think and pray for her. pray for all of those who are taking up the survivors in their arms and carrying them.

she and other brilliant writers gathered to think about how to best help and that gives me hope. but i had to leave early cause it was my birthday and i needed to get to the dinner. there i found my sister autumn, and was joined by my dream team of beloveds. and presents! the creme de la creme – an ipod shuffle! santana and shane ROCKED it. and two journals for writing and a massage gift certificate, and other wonderful stuff.

walking home we passed tyler and his roof was on fire. that’s what i always think of him, but i mean this literally! he was all good, but how odd? now its time for bed, but i just wanted to say i had a great great day.

all the folks who sent love thank you! i appreciate ALL of it!