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First of all, thanks to all of you who have reached out and wished me a happy birthday.  I have always tried to keep my birthday as low profile as possible, and yet it is still gratifying to receive greetings from so many friends.

This is especially true as I continue to undergo a transformation in which there is some discontinuity between my past and my present.  I feel as if I was a caterpillar who is now in a cocoon on my way to being a butterfly, and not all of those who loved me in my caterpillar stage love me in my cocoon stage, and not all of those who loved me in my caterpillar stage will love me in my butterfly stage.  So a special thanks to those of you who are staying in touch with me while I am cocooning.

The metaphor of transforming myself from a caterpillar to a butterfly may seem an odd one for me in particular; in some ways in my former life I was a social butterfly par excellence, and many people loved me most of all for being the life of the party (and giving them a glamorous existence to live vicariously).  Now I am more quiet and thoughtful, and engaged more deeply in my life’s work.  I still enjoy parties, and still enjoy laughing and having fun, but my mind and my spirit are now more deeply engaged in achieving something meaningful with my years.

And I have realized that as exciting and stimulating as it was to be the life of the party, and a social butterfly par excellence, it is even more beautiful, and even more stimulating, to create meaning with the gifts that God has given me.

Blessings and love to all of you,

Magatte