I hate my birthday because it gives power to my narcissism, and narcissism makes me angsty. The sole purpose of a birthday is to say, "Yay, me!" which I have lived long enough to realize is a form of insanity.
I don't actually fear death- not often, and not deeply. I faced the fear years ago, when I lived in the woods in Spain (in close proximity, you could say, with the concept of mortality). But I know this accomplishment must be re-won in every life epoch, and I'm sure I won't feel so smug when my health begins to fail me.
It was a good day, despite my reluctance to celebrate. I have to admit that nature was so beautiful that I felt it must be making an effort for me (the insanity again, finding sparks of significance). But I have very good friends, who mostly live in other places, and they sent me packages or cards. Then Georg took me to a restaurant to eat pizza (I lectured him on the latest books I've read while he drove), and Sophie was so uncharacteristically happy that we declared it a birthday miracle.
The day is over, and I am glad. Birthdays do some good for me: they remind me that I am still not wise enough to love the world deeply and vulnerably. Sophie had taken me on the porch, and it felt like a chore to sit stilly on that wooden chair and breathe, in spite of the day's beauty. When I have had enough birthdays, I pray I'll have the wisdom to bless each moment, to bless each moment and breathe.