Today is my mother’s birthday, and her grandmother’s as well. Mom was born in 1922, Amanda in 1859. Amanda’s old Seth Thomas clock, the one Mom knew from her childhood, is still ticking away on our wall. I wind it every two or three days. And for the smoke, and the roar, and the clatter that will keep me awake tonight, I don’t care a fig. We are sailing through space, among the stars. How embarrassing the need for borders and flags, holsters and guns. One uncle in a military graveyard in Italy. Another who did not speak for six months after his lucky return home. Happy Birthday, Mom. Your love to everyone.