West Seattle HeraldOn his birthday, my partner introduced me to this tradition he has, of writing himself a birthday sonnet. He read me a few from the last few years. They weren’t festive. Rather, they attempted to encapsulate sentiments for another year of life past, goals moving forward, what could be or could have been. They weren’t depressing, either! Just that particular combination of warm and cold often characterizing the thoughts of an adult on their birthday—another milepost on the mortal road.

I decided to take up the tradition myself, and for my birthday—July 9th—I’m going to break the usual mold of my weekly column by instead submitting my birthday sonnet. Because I can. It’s my birthday.


Juggling eggs, each one the one and only.

They’re potential, and serious; each a

transparent pre-hatchling, each a creature

worth being, but utterly, totally.

I struggle to warm one long enough

in hand for limbs to form, stretch, and break out

of their thin cast, to be. Be! Not without

dropping the others, equally worthy.

But, this is not adolescence. I have

responsibilities, opportunities:

people to love. I know how to behave

with my dance partner, how to turn one-half

ways, to cast us as upward entities,

unite momentum. No master. No slave.

Published by the West Seattle Herald 07/09/2016.

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7 Responses to Unity

  1. Tony Scauzilllo Golden says:

    Wanted to share a poem with you I wrote in 2005:

    “The Spective Life”

    We look back, we look inside, we look side to side and up and down,
    and then we move forward respecting what we see.

    We listen back, we listen within, we hear from all directions,
    and then we groove forward appreciating what we hear.

    We taste and smell the past, we savor and enjoy the aroma,
    we understand what we have left, and we enjoy it while it lasts.

    We feel our history, we feel within ourselves, we touch the space we exist in,
    and we hold eternity within every passing moment.

  2. Bill says:

    It just occurred to me that I didn’t respond to this. I’m still thinking it out. Just a note to let you know that I care and that I know why.

  3. Paul Benson says:

    what I like about this egg metaphor is the now-ness. One egg, this egg. Not that previous egg or some future one.

  4. Tom Zupancic says:

    First off, happy birthday Amanda!

    If there is ever a day to celebrate another year of life, one’s birthday is that day. So, fourteen lines of iambic pentameter makes perfect sense.

    Knowing a thing or two about eggs (I started out in embryology, fascinated by how things came to be). What I learned is that it’s complicated; going from inception to realization. Plus there is the uncertainly of, let me call it, ‘nature versus nurture’… the intrinsic qualities of the ‘embryo’ versus the ‘environmental factors’ that affect that developing entity.

    The good news is that biologists have observed that there are multiple positive solutions to this problem. It does not need to be ‘either/or’. Rather, nature takes more of an ‘if this now/then what next’ approach, and this process has worked well enough to bring us all to today.

    So one has some flexibility when juggling eggs.

  5. Tom Mininger says:

    Mother Nature doesn’t let all the eggs hatch. I like it when an egg you thought unfertilized just needed a long incubation.

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