über Midsummer and my birth

I will write a story for each of the years of my life starting with my birth – this is the first entry. I happen to have an incredibly bad memory about any details of my own life. I never quite figured out if it was denial, a neural defect or disinterest.

The purpose is a part therapeutic reflection, part narcissistic indulgence, sprinkled in with the hope that it will be an educational writing exercise.  

“Let’s start at the very beginning, that is a very good place to start”

The Sounds Of Music

I was born on the morning of the midsummer day on the Latvian countryside. If you are Latvian you likely feel the slightest bit of pity for me now.

For those not familiar with pagan traditions of small Baltic countries let me explain:  the midsummer festivities are an incredibly important celebration for Latvians. It is at the core of our national identity. You can compare it to having your birthday on Christmas. And I would lie if I would say that it is not just a little bit annoying not be congratulated by many of your friends.

Nonetheless, I love to have been born this time of the year. The cosmic energies are potent, the air smells like summer flowers and people are singing and dancing through the night into the next day – which is a tradition honored by young and old.

Ah and additionally to my birthday and midsummer, this is also my names day. Which is also a big deal in Latvia. 

Whenever someone scolds my mother for putting all of my celebrations in one day she laughs and says that it was her revenge for interrupting her Ligo (Ligo is what the celebration is called and means as much as ‘sway’)  with my birth. In more private and less cynical conversations she has admitted that she gave me my name because she knew so many Ligas she admired – an actress, a prominent horse rider, a writer. Sometimes I wonder if I will manage to inspire other people to give them my name.

When my mother went into labor she had to actually go to the next “bigger” town, because the small hospital of where we were living was closed due to the celebrations.

So now when someone asks me where I am born I tell them this town. Then it usually it turns out they are from there and they start asking me street names and popular places they liked.  I end up explaining this whole line of circumstances and that I have actually never lived there. In retrospect maybe we can blame my nonstop talking about myself on this.

She always tells me that the day after my birth she wasn’t allowed visitors so she showed me to my father and brother out of the hospital window. I imagine it happened a bit like what  Michal Jackson did with his son from the windows of the Hotel Adlon in Berlin.  I never understood why she wasn’t allowed visitors, but I guess it was different times.

Thinking about it I have never heard my father’s side of the story or my brothers – will have to ask them.

I will take this realization as a sign that there might be a therapeutic effect of talking endlessly about myself.

Līgo, Līgo! 

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