Invitation happily accepted and, in my alternate universe, my guest list…

Roommate and Medium writer, Marilyn Flower would be there.

Photo by Aikya Param

My brother is always my guest of honor on New Year’s Eve. He chose to leave us on that day in 1975. He was 17 years old and his first love has broken up with him. He would be 61 years old now.

My party would definitely include guests sharing poems by reding them out loud. Therefore, my guests would include Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, Walt Whitman, Audre Lord, Alice Walker, and Rupi Kaur. My high school poetry writing soulmate, now Dr. Claire Siu would be invited to bring her latest poems.

I’d hope to see Jesse Clyde Burleson and his beloved fiancee Lauren Glover. Wherever Salman McClain is, I hope he could join too.

Beloved Baba Ram Das has just left us but I would bring him back to tell us about love.

S.N. Goenka who gave us mindfulness meditation. He brought it into prisons in India and insisted that administration and staff learn it before the inmates.

How great it would be to hear what Jesus’s grandmother Ann and his mother Mary think of women today. They could give us some wide direction for 2020 and beyond.

How about some people who made great contributions after the age of 60; for example,

At 63 John Dryden began his translation of the entire works of Virgil into English verse

At 65 Miles Davis performed his final live album, just weeks before he died

At 66 Noah Webster completed his American Dictionary of the English Language

At 69 Canadian Ed Whitlock became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under 3 minutes.

At 70, Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

At 76, Arthur Miller unveiled the new play The Ride down Mt. Morgan, free of any world-weary tone

At 77 John Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space.

At 78, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people and the first Black woman to reach the North Pole.

At 84 baby doctor Benjamin Spock championed world peace.

At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to win a Nobel Prize in literature.

At 87, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor

At 88 Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

At 89 Artur Rubinstein performed one of his greatest recitals in Carnegie Hall

At 90, Marc Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum

At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel, was knighted and died.

At 94, comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his first performance there

At 97, Martin Miller was still working fulltime as a lobbyist on behalf of benefits for seniors.

At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.

At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.

A few weeks before my 75th birthday, I want living evidence that triumphs happen at any age.

Happy New Year!

Aikya Param is a licensed minister, a visual artist, and writer.

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