Seven has always been my lucky number although I can’t say it ever won me a lottery or a horserace. I’ve just always been partial to odd numbers, especially this one that encompassed the days of the week. This probably goes back to my imaginary friends of childhood and beyond — the days of the week. Each day I hung out with an invisible pal. Monday was more mature and little anal. Wednesday was my best friend, and quite naughty at times. Saturday was sensible and laid-back. Sunday was a slightly uptight, prissy man. Tuesday and Thursday were twins, each with a distinct personality although both preferred wearing green.
Today, although it’s the 4th (not the 7th), I celebrate being 7 x 7 year’s old, a perfect square and also the Jubilee birthday. In ancient Hebrew traditions, Jubilee meant two things — one was that every seven years, you let the fields go fallow so that they could regenerate themselves. The other was that at your Jubilee birthday (your 49th, your 7 x 7), you gave everything away and started over again. It was a way of giving you a clean slate, a new start, a lighter way of being while also helping out those less fortunate.
Although I don’t plan to give everything away (although I have been making my usual deposits to the local goodwill), I’ve been thinking for months about what I’m ready to release, and the list is long and, at times, trecherous: inactivity, compacency, all vestiges of self-hatred, the kinds of judgments of others rooted in the need to protect myself, little meannesses, big impatience, rushing around for no good cause, and yelling for no good reason. It may well take me another 49 years to give away what I’m accumulated.
So as usual, it’s breath by breath, stretch by stretch, story by story, word by word, and deed by deed. When I blow out the candles, I’ll be wishing for enough awareness to see where to turn and how to step next.
Pix: Elvis, Juan-Tomas, Ken and me in Nashville, and me one morning after the coffee.