55 ALIVE!

Today is my birthday, and I’ve hit the speed limit–55! I was 22 when, according to Wikipedia, the National Maximum Speed Law was enacted in 1974. This entry says it was in response to the gas crisis, which I remember fondly. Isn’t it odd how it was about saving gas, not lives (which was its greatest legacy?) And isn’t it funny how the crisis then “disappeared” for 30 years?

The title? If you’re my age, you remember this slogan from those days–”55 Alive!” Which is also a good slogan for this year, come to think of it.

I digress. I just wanted to add that I’m glad there are no speed limits in how we live our lives. And that sometimes, the legacy we create is not the one we intended.

Today I’m pointing to an old essay I now refer to every birthday, the one I wrote on September 11, 2001. It’s as poignant and meaningful to me as it was that day. It’s become my “secondary artist statement.”

As for the sympathetic murmurings I get that this happened on my birthday, I just want to say that:

1) Everytime something bad happens in the world, it happens on someone’s birthday.

2) Having a birthday to be sad about is better than having no birthday at all.

3) And not even I have an ego so huge, I think 9/11 is all about my birthday. (Although, I hasten to point out, it is entirely human to think so. We are the center of our own universe…)

So here is my essay. It’s a little stilted, as I reread it after all these years. But it’s exactly what happened to me that day, it’s exactly how it happened, and I still believe it.

Enjoy the day!

An Ancient Story for Modern Times

P.S. Even spookier, I see today, is the reference to global warming. The latest article I’ve read says we will probably lose polar bears, and soon. For some reason, this saddens me almost as much as everything else going on.

I cannot imagine a world without polar bears.

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9 Comments

Filed under art, artist statement, choices, courage, life, mental attitude, writing

9 responses to “55 ALIVE!

  1. happy 55 Alive! birthday Luann!

    I remember having a bright yellow bumper sticker that said “Be nifty, drive fifty”, and yes, it was all about saving gas, not lives.

  2. Happy Birthday, Luann!
    And thanks for posting your Ancient Story…
    I’m going to go into my studio now and remember that I am choosing to honor the creative force.

  3. Happy Birthday! To be cognizant of the creative force is well worth celebrating.

  4. Happy Birthday Luann! I hope you treat yourself like the Goddess that you are!

    Love, Violette

  5. Marie

    Happy Birthday Luann! I love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I’m still sending good health wishes your way too!

    Marie

  6. Cindy Dean

    Happy Birthday from another September baby. Your essay was excellent! Very meaningful.

  7. Happy Birthday, Luann!

    Thank you for the essays in your blog. “An Ancient Story” was my introduction to your writing. I appreciate your interesting, thoughtful and positive mind, whether in person or in print. Best birthday wishes from one Virgo to another,

    Kathy Jolly

  8. Rebecca

    I saw your picture on your website and you don’t look old enough to be 55.

  9. Rebecca, remember that old chestnut Jack Benny used to tell about why he looked so young on TV?

    He said every year, they kept moving the camera back another mile, so he would be slightly out of focus.

    The older he got, the farther back they moved the camera.

    When asked how far back the camera was now, he said it was in another country!

    But, seriously, thank you for the complement. And remember, the photo is from Glamour Shots–and highly airbrushed! ;^)

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