I am flying on The A380 to New York and thinking about women. Or, more specifically, how extraordinary my life’s journey has been with regard to women. How so much of the collective sum of my varied and unusual circle of experience has been fired, influenced or absolutely determined by the role of women in my life. Am I just in the grip of a hopeless addiction to the power that women intrinsically yield, am I just playing out my inevitable role as determined by nature, or have I recognised that ultimately, by accepting the extra dimension that seems to inhabit the complexity of the female mind, I have enriched my life through the rewarding relationships i have experienced with women.
I am at the bar in the back of the plane. The charming and attractive French cabin crew attendant offers me a drink . I accept my first glass of wine and transition the conversation into her language. We exchange a few pleasant words, but there is a connection, beyond professional service etiquette.
.Nothing that could be considered obviously flirtatious but the connection exists, fleetingly. It hovers in the air, warm, direct, smile holding smile. It sparkles like the dexterous fingers of a concert pianist interpreting a series of ascending arppeggios.
I feel a deep and glorious inner joy that today, on my 63rd birthday I can still enjoy the genuine and simple pleasure of such spontaneous connections. It makes me realise again how sublime is the architecture of the female mind, capable of connecting through and despite the gap in years and imparting a sense of Inner happiness, a gift of making you feel special, even youthful.
Nearby , sleeping , my wife is dreaming the childlike , wonderland dreams of her maiden voyage to America. I marvel at that golden first time sense of things known but unknown and want to infiltrate her world of multicoloured landscapes and possibilities. Of course she herself is no child but a highly sophisticated intelligent and accomplished woman. Nevertheless it is of course the endless universe of her female, child/woman heart that can create the soaring descant of these visions , her own subtle imagination weaving over animated scenes, flying on rainbows ,touching the distant unknown
I think about these moments and about the women I have known – friends, girl friends, lovers , wives or just fleeting encounters etched forever on my life’s canvas. How much i owe to all women in my life. how they made me understand so much about myself, brought me to moments of deep soul searching, heartrending torment, moments of realisation and stimulating perspectives that would never have been possible without their complex and subtle insights.
I am deeply grateful for the comfort, cleverness, and occasional raging unpredictability that I have experienced with women through the passage of time in my life , yet the growth and knowledge that I have received from their fundamental tenderness has been intrinsic to my happiness and fulfilment , and today I rejoice today in these memories.
I go one step further. I raise my glass to all the women I love and have loved , to each and every one of you, wherever you are in the world today as I fly above th clouds to my journey’s end. Today, i know that every one of you gave me unexpected yet infinitely precious gifts of joy and fulfilment wrapped as a thought, a birthday gift from me to me. Thank you all for letting me know you, love you, be shaped by you and made richer by your unique, special and precious hearts.
Happy birthday me.
En route to New York and ready for whatever is next.