Those adages about age being just a number have never resonated with me. This is a year when of several key numbers, a key one being turning 60 in September. It is a year of a number of milestones.
I have never known much about numerology but have always felt that the four year cycle of Leap Years has always held a certain power of benchmark changes. There are the U.S. presidential elections and summer Olympics that come around every four years, and I also feel that they have a particular power every twelve years, when the Chinese New Year repeats. I was born in the Year of the Monkey, and for whatever reason, I seem to have certain affinity with those born in the Year of the Monkey. I only recently discovered that there are four cycles of Years of the Monkey that occur once every 60 years — wood, fire, earth, and gold — and this year, like the year of my birth, is a fire monkey year.
Of all the descriptions of the fire monkey, perhaps the one I can agree with states: The first part of the Monkey’s life will be happy. The second will be upset and confused and his plans will often miscarry. Once attaining a ripe old age, the Monkey will increasingly enjoy a simple, everyday life.
I’ll take that to mean the third act that begins at 60.
A number of other benchmarks happen this year. I will mark 20 years of living in San Francisco in November. Ten years since the death of my father and aunt. Ten years of blogging. When I started the process, it began in relative silence and peaked in readership around 2007 to 2008. Shortly after that the quick posts of social media seemed to overtake the essay, magazine feel of blogging. Besides posting the occasional collage or sketch, I have been posting less real content here, but over recent months, the past couple of years really, I have felt myself drifting away from the short posts of social media and returning to content. A fitting cycle, I hope, in the year of the fire monkey.