Your birthday marks the beginning of your time on Earth. But Paul Staley finds something to celebrate in the day before you were born and the day after you’re gone.
This year I started observing, in a quiet, private way, a particular day of the year. It is what I call my un-birthday, the day before I was born.
More than a few decades ago this was the last day before my version of the experience we call life got started. The observance of this date acknowledges that there were a whole lot of days without me in the millennia before I was born, and a lot more to follow after I move on.
I shared this concept one evening at the dinner table and got the immediate feedback that this was more than a little morbid. And yet I’d argue that a two-day observance like this—a celebration of the before and after—is appropriate for those of us who are getting on in years.
As we age our birthdays become an awkward combination of celebration and stunned bewilderment, an occasion to have a party while simultaneously asking yourself, “How did this happen?”