I HIT FIFTY this Spring. Not for a few weeks yet so hold off on the cake! (Carrot, since you’re asking.) My mother died only a few weeks after she turned 50. She faced the weeks I’m in now with the certainty that she would soon die from breast cancer. Horrible, debilitating, aggressive breast cancer. I spent all of my 40s expecting a shortened life like hers, so what do you do when you’ve been entirely convinced you wouldn’t reach 50 – an age taken for granted by the majority, but denied to a significant number, including your own mother? Planning a celebration isn’t what I want. It does not feel right. But it is enough of a milestone to give me pause. And somehow that reflection goes outwards. Born into a partitioned state, ill at ease with itself, with an incomplete history, I felt unarticulated suffocation. I was in a state founded on violent, unfinished revolution that was censoring its own people and history, and turning its rage inwardly.