Today is my birthday—

I didn’t really sleep well last night.
It was 2 am and I picked a book on the Russian Revolution off my shelf and read until strings of daylight slipped through my blinds.
The melancholy night turned into an indifferent morning.

But I put on my white fluffy tulle skirt, a 90’s slap bracelet, and moto boots, with sheer chiffon top and a knit sweater.

My birthday outfit this year.

I took the trash out,
I lit an incense candle and listened to my 2016 anthem “America’s Sweetheart” by Elle King.

I took an Uber to work. I never do that.

I resigned myself to having a positive day, regardless of the creeping insecurities up my spine.

Then I walk into work and my boss, who is a King among men, gave me a tapered candle from Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He was gifted them by a scholar and is carrying them this weekend to his mothers memorial (вечная память).

I was so touched, it was like a weight had been lifted off my heart. The wick of the candle has been symbolically burned to remind us of the ever burning flame.

I’ve always wanted a hallowed spot with high vaulted ceilings and ancient stained glass windows to sit with my many many sins and pleas.

But I don’t find comfort in the stone walls of a sanctuary.

I do find solace in the gentle wailing of a guitar and the husky belting of Lucinda Williams. I can find some version of peace swirling with a glass of whiskey with one cube of ice.

I lose myself between the pages of a book, and silently recite prayers to the dark when anxiety rises like bile in my throat.

and what, my friends is more hallowed than that?