Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 Martinmas

My birthday.

I'm grateful for having been born on Armistice Day - now Veterans Day. As a kid, I had the day off  from school, or one close to it. Birthdays were celebrated modestly in my family, & always the same for everyone: ice cream & cake for dessert after supper, the happy birthday song, a few presents.

When I got older I began considering the influence the day had on me, Armistice Day (to the old folks), Veterans Day, Feast of St. Martin,  & the  season - late fall. Thinking about these things influenced how the day affected me.  The day always seemed  larger than me. It isn't  really my day. I share it.

Martin of Tours is very interesting character. The two legends associated with him are wonderful. But as Bishop of Tours he was harsh to pagans. Yet he went up against an emperor in an unsuccessful attempt to save the lives of some people accused of heresy, although he opposed their beliefs  - the first Christians known to have been executed on that charge.  Martin may have recognized the terrible precedent. He seems to have been a man of monastic temperament obliged to accept positions of leadership & authority, not an  unusual situation in the history of Christianity.  As a kid, I knew nothing of Martin or Martinmas.

My birthday poem.

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Happy Birthday, buddy!
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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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