Notes For Creators

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David’s happy birthday: When the Universe throws you an abrazo

Sometimes the Universe winks at you — and you catch it out of the corner of your eye. And sometimes it’s a full-on abrazo (Spanish for embrace — I’m using it here with Latin passion!).

The artist David Gordon was far from home on a recent birthday, setting up his tent at an art festival. I too have been away from home on birthdays, working. You feel disconnected no matter how you slice it in your mind.

(It’s just another day.)


(If I’d been at home it would have been no big deal either.)


(I’ll make it special by, oh!, ordering that chocolate layer cake . . . and, oh!, that root beer float . . . and, oh!, whatever else I damn well please.)

There he was feeling what he was feeling as he set up, when he heard the unmistakable sounds of a gathering behind him. Directly behind his tent across the sidewalk was a Starbucks — and this group was celebrating a birthday.

They broke into the traditional song — and as they did David couldn’t help but feel a bit of wonder at this bit of synchronicity:

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you


Happy birthday dear Daaaaaa-vid . . . . 


Yes! They actually sang his name. 

As the group broke up a short time later they passed David. He told them about the happy coincidence, not only of it being his birthday too, but also in sharing the same name. 

You can imagine the flow of warmth and spontaneous camaraderie that transpired for a few moments there . . . enough to get any birthday far from home off to a better start.

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