Well, this week is my birthday week. But hold onto your Botox vials, ladies; this year, I'm trying to look at things a little differently. (At least when I'm not standing in direct sunlight.)
Recently, I attended the birthday dinner of a dear, beautiful, and loving friend. Her spectacular (and highly literate) husband gave a toast, which included the following poem, written by my most favorite of favorites, e.e. cummings:
silently if,out of not knowable
night's utmost nothing,wanders a little guess
(only which is this world)more my life does
not leap than with the mystery your smile
sings or if(spiralling as luminous
they climb oblivion)voices who are dreams,
less into heaven certainly earth swims
than each my deeper death becomes your kiss
losing through you what seemed myself,i find
selves unimaginably mine;beyond
sorrrow's own joys and hoping's very fears
yours is the light by which my spirit's born:
yours is the darkness of my soul's return
--you are my sun,my moon,and all my stars
But beyond the (obvious and enviable) romance, there was a deeper message my friend's doting other half wanted to impart: the idea of a birthday being not only the day one is born, but the other "births" that person's life inspires, be they of the flesh, the mind, or the spirit.
So, I'm thinking that this April 4th, I might try to spend a little less time with the magnifying mirror, examining my skin's evaporating elasticity. Instead, I'd like to turn it into an occasion for inspiring other births in the people whose lives I'm blessed enough to encounter, and for thanking them for the births they've inspired in mine. Births of curiosity, love, kindness, compassion, and generosity, for instance.
See, I'm pretty blessed. I have many people in my life whom I cherish deeply. Some are new in my world, some I've known (almost) since I was born--or at least since I was young enough to feel invincible. So this year, I think I'd like to actually use "my" day to tell each of them how much they mean to me, and to thank them for the love they've helped me give birth to, each in their own, very particular way.
That's kind of my plan this year. Gratitude and love in abundance.
Anyway, it's cheaper than another glycolic peel from my dermatologist.