The idea for a party was mine - at least, I'll claim it as such. It might not have been, but it scarcely matters. What happened was, there was an idea among poets that G and T, GKA and Big Ted, could and should and would share a party, because together they are making 130 years young.
At the heart of the party was the dance. Not just any dance, but the sort of dancing that people do from start to finish because it's so compulsory in a lenient way. That's to say, the folks operating the vinyl decks, Mike and Hattie, made it easy in their choice of songs. Who wouldn't dance, raise their hands, smile to Free Nelson Mandela, especially those of us who are approaching, are at, or past, 130 combined years with our nearest and dearest. We remember it, you see: the special hope of the early 1990s, when we were grown up already, and some of us were, or were about to become parents, but still it seemed possible (and I mean everything) because peace broke out in several ways in several places. South Africa. Northern Ireland. And the Berlin wall had already fallen.
In the centre of the party were two of the sweetest, dearest of men. Men who embrace the dance of a party, of friendship, of love in all its forms. Men who rock being men in the modest, kind and strong in-a-good-way - way that honours all the women that know and love them. And all the men too, come to think of it. In the centre of the party was the hope of love and peace - and it was a sober happiness.
That's the thing - this wasn't some slurred, blurred feeling of numbed contentment. This party had the natural joy induced by two hours, more, of stamping, swaying, grooving dancing, and a magnificent jointly brought along buffet and Mike's excellent raspberry and almond cake - you see, after an hour of this dancing around in yellow boots, GKA in his top hat, Ted whistling, I noticed that everything that's difficult about being 130, all that knowing the world in its complication, fell away. And what came around was simplicity. No matter our imperfections, some of the messes we might have made along the way - no matter our successes and achievements. This was so straightforward, dancing together, wreathed in music, in the friendship of years, and in deep acceptance and the kind of loving that exceeds categories, and will still be there tomorrow, and the next day, and for the next eleventy years.
Happy Birthday, GKA! Happy Birthday Ted! We love you. And here you are, cutting the cake: