12th House of Loss & Transcendence

There’s a church in Glendale with the strangest sign out front. It lights up clean and bright at night. I passed once in the daytime and there was a security guard out front with a dark navy jacket with the word “SECURITY” emblazoned on the back. I asked if I could take a picture of him in front of the sign but he said, “no pictures, no pictures” and looked at me like I was trying to steal it.

I can still see him, all gruff and grizzled and silver haired, mad at me. It’s stuck in my mind’s eye. Him guarding that sign, keeping it safe.

And you know what? I wish I had security guarding my FAITH CENTER sometimes. When my faith gets shaken I often wish there was something standing between it and the outside world, some force that could alleviate the worst effects. But in truth I’m less and less convinced that yelling at people or trying to instill fear is the best way to go about it. In fact, the more my faith gets rattled the more convinced I am that the best security is almost always to open, not close. To surrender, not stand on guard.

But learning this didn’t come easy. I was born with my Sun in the 12th house of Loss & Sorrows. I’ve been losing what I wanted most since I was about nine years old. What I see now is that the actual things I’ve lost aren’t important, what’s important is how I’m just wired to think of things from the perspective of loss or gain, so I’ve felt losses acutely and feared them consequently. It’s taken me many years to appreciate how loss is actually a gift. Loss is a great teacher because it reveals the fundamental truth of reality. Resisting this truth causes more sorrow then the losses themselves.

But if you surrender, if you release yourself from the need to protect yourself from the inevitable, from loss, from failure, from betrayal, from the certainty of it, than you will tap into real power. Modern interpretations of the 12th house always say it’s about transcendence, but I’ve never seen a good explanation of why. In my opinion this is it, this is why. It’s because when you accept loss as inevitable life becomes precious. It becomes real.

Faith is its best when it comes to accepting things as they are, not as we want them to be. There’s this virulent notion in our culture that faith, the kind “you gotta have” is there for you to keep believing impossible dreams, to get you the money, the man, the house of your dreams, to keep your babies safe at night and to never let anything bad happen to anyone ever. And when bad things happen to you, it’s somehow your fault because you didn’t believe enough.

But real optimism, real joy, real faith starts from accepting things as they are, not as we want them to be. It’s no good wishing you hadn’t spilt the milk. If you want to clean it up you have to accept the fact of it, you can’t pretend things are anything other than what they are. And it requires determination to do so. It’s not for the faint of heart. You have to be willing to swallow some very bitter pills if you want to live in this world.

The Five Remembrances of the Buddhist faith speak eloquently to this:

I am subject to aging, I have not gone beyond aging

I am subject to illness, I have not gone beyond illness

I am subject to death, I have not gone beyond death

I will be separated and parted from all that is dear and beloved to me

I am the owner of my actions, heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.

Impermanence is the one absolute we can all unequivocally count on. How we be with that is all that we can control or should even attempt to.

It’s a paradox that the experience of being alive should make being mortal so hard to embrace. But accepting it is a relief. Accepting it makes it beautiful. Accepting it makes the present moment so precious.

I can’t say I accept it 100% of the time – more like 20% of the time, but that’s, like 20% more than I have since I was about nine, so I’m counting it a win. When my ex and I split I remember vividly at the heart of the anguish, at the heart of the despair, at the heart of the darkness, this overwhelming alertness. It was like being woken up.

So the funny thing is that I remember my faith most when I’ve lost something I really wanted, because it’s always then that I need to remember it most. It’s always when you’re down in it that you know what your faith really is or isn’t. I’m glad this is mine.

I will be separated and parted from all that is dear and beloved to me

This is the center of my faith, and the truest security I’ve ever known.

 

Full Hearted

Space Heart

I used to think a broken heart was something you had to put back together, like a favorite dish that fell on the floor and would never be the same again. Now I see that heartbreak often comes from the need to expand. Like a snake shedding a skin, your heart is just too big for the cage you’ve been keeping it in.

 

 

Survivors Heart

This is my favorite tree in LA.  It’s about forty minutes into my favorite hike and I like to sit there under the shade and enjoy the breeze if there is one, which there almost always is.

One day I was sitting there with my friend, Lisa, talking about my heart and how it was getting harder and harder to imagine really giving it to anyone again.  There is a point, you know, when your heart has been broken so thoroughly that you pretty much have to just lock it up, turn off the lights, and hope anyone knocking assumes you’re not home.  So I was saying as much to Lisa, who is the kind of friend who really listens even when she doesn’t agree with you.  She looked at me quietly with her large limpid eyes and let me pour it all out to her.

I know she wanted to tell me not to give up, not to close up entirely, but before she could even get the words out of her mouth, this lovely older couple rounded the bend and asked if they could join us under the tree to enjoy the shade, as it was really hot that day.

They were immigrants, I’m not sure where from, but Eastern European seems about right.  The husband’s English was better than his wife’s, and he was the talkative one of the two.  He was so sweet with his wife, who walked with a cane and seemed to be slowing him down a bit, but he didn’t seem to mind at all.

He told us that this was also his favorite tree in Los Angeles.  He said that he and his wife had been walking past it for years, and that it has survived several fires in the Hollywood hills.  Once he pointed it out, it was obvious.  The earth around it has been scorched in places and it’s missing some limbs.  There are a few other trees on that hillside but most are funny charred little stumps.  But this tree, this tree is still growing and green and providing shelter from the sun.  It’s a survivor, he said.  It just won’t die, it keeps coming back.

Lisa turned to look at me after they left, her eyes wide.  “Can you believe that?” she asked.  She put her hand on my arm for emphasis, “did you get that?”  I was feeling sort of trembly, but trying to be all Capricorn and cool about it.  I’m still trying to be all Capricorn and cool about it, to be honest, but facts are facts.

Sometimes the universe is right there when you need it, all you have to do is listen.

 

A Valentine for Singles

positivewide

Years ago in San Francisco I visited a friend of a friend with my roommate.  This friend of a friend was an artist and her home was covered with paintings.  Sculptures littered the shelves.  While everyone chatted in the kitchen I wandered about looking intently.  I felt shy around my roommate’s friends, and I was happy to have something to focus on besides small talk.

positive med

A curved little figure sitting on a shelf caught my eye and held it.  I asked the artist if I could pick it up and she said yes.  I turned it over and over in my hands.  It was smooth and soft to the touch.  “It’s funny,” I said, “this isn’t a position most people think of as positive, but it is, it is positive.  It’s reflective.  And you’ve put a heart at the center of it.”

Her face lit up.  “Yes!” she said, “yes, exactly!”

“I love it,” I told her.  “This is beautiful.”

“Would you like to have it?” She asked.

“Oh no, I couldn’t,” I protested, shocked by her generosity.  But she insisted, and eventually I succumbed of course, how could I not?  So here it is now, some twenty-odd years later, still fitting warm and snug in the palm of my hand.  For the life of me I can’t remember what the young woman’s name was, though the initials JD are scratched into the figure.  I have no idea who she is or where she went but I’ve kept this piece of her and made it mine.

positive large

On its own it is such a good reminder to empty my mind and carry a light heart, to love myself best and value the stillness that comes from turning inwards.  But in some ways my very favorite thing about this little figurine is how it came to me.  Because it came through connection, through the experience of listening to another and being seen in return.  It came through generosity and genuine, authentic joy.  Through the spirit of sharing.

So while the figure is alone it is never lonely.  Single but never separate.  A perfect Valentine.

The Kindness of Strangers – Jupiter opposite Venus

sweet for health

There are a lot of things I really like about waiting tables. I’ve been doing it for a long ass time, now (long past enough time to achieve mastery over it using Malcolm Gladwell’s rubric of 10,000 hours) but by far one of my favorite things is the people I meet and the intense connections that develop so quickly when I give them something yummy to eat. It’s a really intimate thing to do, you know.

Of course I usually come home drained to bits, and grateful to close the door and turn off my phone, but while I’m there, meeting and greeting and taking orders and making people feel comfortable and at home and feeding them, I’m supremely satisfied.

The other day this guy came in with a friend for a late lunch. I’d never seen him before, but he laughed at my jokes right away and met my eyes and was just generally the perfect customer. He was friendly but respectful and totally genuine.

And when he asked me my name I was all set for the usual conversation I have about it, you know, “REALLY? Is that your real name?” blah blah blah… But he strayed from the script. When I told him it was my mother’s nickname from the time she brought me home from the hospital, he quipped, “oh! That’s just like me! My name’s Shithead!” omg I laughed so hard. It was the way he said it, of course, all cheerful and hopeful, as if it was the best name a mother could give you. It’s still making me laugh.Galleria Market

Anyway, we had fun together and at the end of his meal he left me $53 on a $47 check. Which was just crazy dear and cool of him. He wasn’t weird about it, either, not flirty or salacious or patronizing or anything untoward. Just totally solid, sweet, and like it was a fun thing for him to do, to surprise a stranger he’d taken a shine to with a burst of generosity. And then he drove off in his white Porsche, and whither he went I’ve got no idea.

It’s unlikely I’ll ever see him again, as he lives in Denver, but being a true blue Capricorn I don’t always react super quickly to compliments or surprises or sweet things people do. He was so cool about it that I’m pretty sure that suited him, I don’t think he wanted me to make a big deal about it, but even so, I’m not sure he had any idea what our little exchange meant to me, and I wish he did.

So I’m writing about it here, and I’m telling you what I did with his $53 because I have no way of telling him. I woke up early yesterday morning – too early – and for some reason decided to skip breakfast, get dressed and head over to the Korean supermarket a few miles away from me. I needed a new body scrubbing glove, and they’re two dollars cheaper at any Korean market than anywhere else.

super rice stick

I wandered the aisles for a couple hours, wondering why I’ve been living in Koreatown for three plus years and it’s taken me till now to find this place. There was so much to see! Like Super Rice Stick and jelly candies or horseradish mayonnaise or candied persimmons – Holy crap, you guys, CANDIED PERSIMMONS, seriously. And oh! The pickled radishes and fishes and peppers and carrots and things. Bracken and ferns for soups (I think?). I’ve never wanted a Korean friend more than I did wandering around the aisles. Someone explain things to me.

Except there’s such rich freedom in the not knowing, in the mystery of it all. In the experience of being outside a culture, of being a foreigner. I’ve been talking a lot about the 12th house over the past week or so, but I missed something. A classic 12th house experience is feeling like an outsider, an alien. There is something about traveling and actually being a foreigner that is frankly a bit of a relief. When you are literally a foreigner there’s nothing wrong with you for feeling outside a culture, it is how you should feel.

It’s easier to be yourself when no one around you knows what that should look like either.

So I wandered the aisles for a couple hours and thought about my travels and the people I’ve met and how lucky I’ve been. I collected sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, black natto bean sprouts, LA made organic miso and a ton of ginger. I made faces at a little girl in a shopping cart and talked to the guy stocking the strawberries, who of course was latino, this is LA, after all.

And when I finally wandered my way to the checkout my total came up to $53 and some change. Because of course it did.

So thank you, Nathan from Denver, thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me a great field trip and the reminder to pay attention to the people around me, to connect, to be present, and to be generous. Thank you for being Jupiter in Cancer opposing Venus in Capricorn transiting my 6th house of daily routine and servitude and for reminding me what a true joy work actually is, thank you for giving me the money to go have a 12th house playdate with myself and remember that we are all foreigners in a foreign land bound only by our ability to connect.

Thank you for the connection.

Namaste

Emergence: The other side of Venus Retrograde

FB placard

I know, I know, Facebook placards, RIGHT?!  But I couldn’t help myself, I had to do it, I looked over and reached for the book nearest me, which happened to be Lee Lehman’s very excellent Book of Rulerships (a book detailing which planets have been known to rule which experiences since Ptolemy).  On the inside of my copy Lee has inscribed “Wonder – Best, best wishes!” but I can’t imagine this is what she meant, since when I turned to page 45 this is what greeted my eyes:

Bitter Venus

HAHAHAHA I know, serves me right.  DUH.  But though this spoke volumes to me, it’s not technically a paragraph, so I felt justified in turning to the next closest book to me, which happened to be Arielle Guttman’s Venus Star Rising.  Surely a book dedicated to dear, sweet Venus, the planet in charge of love, would be kinder to me, right?  You might think so, but N O.

Darkside of Venus

Can you read that?  Here, let me spell it out for you: “The only demonic implication of the Venus Star is that when what it represents – light and love – becomes blocked or destroyed by people, its dark side, which is fear, emerges.  It is, after all, people’s fears that have created demons.”

I suppose it’s a good sign that I busted up laughing over this.  And not hysterical crying-on-the-inside laughing, but genuine good old belly laughing.  You see, I can own that it’s true.  This IS my love life.  This is exactly what I’ve created for myself.  Straight up truth is almost always the funniest thing there is.

But if I’d tried this experiment two years ago and got the same results it wouldn’t have made me laugh.  I would have been sick to my stomach over it.  The difference is that two years ago I couldn’t own the fact that I’ve created this, I was still somehow looking to foist it off on my chart, on the Universe, on my ex, on anyone and anything but myself.

The last few months have been hard, I cannot tell a lie.  This Venus retrograde started out badly for me, and only got worse as it went on.  But we’re on the other side of it now, can you feel it?  I can.  Adam Gainsburg calls this part of the retrograde period Emergence, because Venus is growing brighter and brighter in the morning sky, having just emerged from a period of invisibility as her orbit took her between the earth and the sun.

And I can feel something’s shifted.  I’m still mulling over the epiphanies and revelations and they’ve not worked their way yet into my corpuscles or bones, but I can see it’s time for some changes around here.  I can’t stay in my 12th house forever, just because my Venus is trapped there.  I AM NOT MY VENUS, DAMMIT.

Maybe Venus isn’t hitting you quite so hard as it is me, but I’d be willing to bet there’s some place in your life where you’ve been dealing with some latent pain and I’m telling you, it’s time to let it go, my friend.  Just let it go.  You don’t need it.

Release!  Shine bright, my Little Morning Stars, it’s time to come out!

What to give a Capricorn

Capricorn Birthday Card

For my birthday my three year old nephew made me a card.  Little Lonely was worried I would think it was a bit dark, but honestly the first thing I thought was SATURN!!  Saturn loves the dark.  Black is his color, and as anyone who’s ever read this blog should know, I am Saturn all-the-way-do-not-pass-go.  So this is perfect.  The best part?  T wanted me to have the crayon he drew it with, so it was included with the card.  That little boy with his Capricorn Moon conjunct my Sun totally has my number.

Welcome to 2014, everyone!  Here’s to sloughing off the past!  Hello future!

How To Be Your Selfie

1.  GET REALLY STONED AND START MESSING AROUND WITH YOUR CAMERA.  START WITH SOFT FOCUS DUCKFACE (be sure to include something IRONIC that isn’t LITERALLY ironic LIKE GLASSES to indicate that you aren’t taking the whole thing too seriously)

I don’t usually post selfies.  The whole phenomena makes me a bit queasy, to be honest.  To be even more honest the fact that it makes me queasy gives me a total case of the Eye Roll since it’s so obviously hypocritical of me.  I love personal narrative and my favorite artists are always the ones that start there, using themselves to paint the world.  Besides I’m vain, I like looking at myself and that fact hasn’t diminished with age, if anything it’s grown stronger.

2.  USE A CREEPY PHOTO EDITOR TO ENHANCE YOUR EYES (they’re the Window to the Soul, right?)  IMMEDIATELY REGRET WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WHEN YOU SEE HOW GORMLESS IT MAKES YOU LOOK

I find my face more interesting now that it’s grown over with fine lines and dark hairs (well maybe not so much the dark hairs, THE FUCK WITH THEM #feministFAIL).  I was close to my grandparents and I’m fascinated by the whole process of aging.  There’s something fundamentally reassuring about it to me, about being a part of the whole Cycle of Life thing.  I’m about halfway through it if I’m lucky and my genes hold out like they have for most of the elders in my family.  I’ve got a long way left to go and I love the vehicle I’ve got for the journey, it’s so familiar to me now, worn in exactly the way I like it and with lots of mileage left in it if I play my cards right.

3.  HAVE FUN WITH IT  (You don’t want people to think you HATE yourself, do you??!)

Besides, the truth is that behind every selfie is someone just trying to figure out who they are.  Trying desperately to tell a story worth living, worth loving, worth knowing.  Sure there are loads of examples of people getting it TOTALLY WRONG, so many this guy even started a collection of them.  But even behind the WORST of them I reckon there’s a person there just doing the fucking best they can with what they’ve got.  And let’s face it, we didn’t all start with parents that loved us unconditionally and taught us to respect ourselves and everyone around us.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

Seriously.  Can you imagine a world populated entirely by people like that?  Because in that world not only would people possibly not take questionable selfies to begin with but everyone else wouldn’t hate on anyone who slipped up, or worse, dared to post shots of themselves that flew in the face of societally agreed upon norms.

4.  REGRET HAVING MADE DUCKFACE AND STRATEGICALLY PLACE A MUSTACHE OVER IT (lending further credence to your aforementioned IRONIC-but-not-LITERALLY-ironic lack of investment in the whole process)

No one can agree on whether the “selfie” is a narcissistic act or simply a tool for self-discovery, but why can’t it be both?  And why do we have such need to fucking label everything anyway?

Susan Sontag said “Photography implies that we know about the world if we accept it as the camera records it.  But this is the opposite of understanding, which starts from not accepting the world as it looks.  All possibility of understanding is rooted in the ability to say no.”

Photographs, by their very nature, present a unified field of vision, an image that is both changeable but unchanging.  I think it follows that a seflie is the ultimate label, the ultimate definitive statement.  If we can get the camera to record us as we want to be seen, if we look the way we want to be thought of then we will be understood.  We will be known.

5.  SERIOUSLY START HATING ON YOURSELF FOR INDULGING IN SUCH NARCISSISTIC DRIVEL.  FOLLOW THAT HATE SPIRAL DOWN A RABBIT HOLE OF GROWING DISGUST AND DISDAIN WITH YOURSELF FOR NOT BEING ABLE TO EVEN GET A DAMNED SELFIE RIGHT.  YOU ARE A MONSTER.  IT’S A FACT.  YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE.

In the absence of a loving mama to hold you tight, cast out into the cold dark alienation of modern day adulthood maybe the selfie is the closest to unconditional love we can get.

I don’t actually believe that.  But the allure registers with me.  I can appreciate it.  When I was younger I was both fascinated with and repulsed by images of myself.  I couldn’t reconcile the sleek, pretty white girl who looked so “put together” with all the crazy chaos inside myself.  I didn’t feel unified.  I felt broken.  But the camera didn’t record that.  So I found pictures of myself extremely unsettling.  But I got so much praise for them it was hard to hate them entirely.  And maybe looking unified, contained, and sure of myself was as good as it got.

Fortunately now I know that’s not true.  I’m not broken inside anymore.  I’m even starting to come around to the notion that I never really was, I just felt that way.  It’s easier to look at myself with love now, to see past the seeing of me, the what I look like of me and into the great roaring abyss that lies beyond.  Now that my visage is showing some wear and tear it’s the inside that’s shiny and new.  Unified.  It’s like Dorian Gray in reverse.

6.  FUCK IT.  DARKEN EVERYTHING RECOGNIZABLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND COVER THE WHOLE DAMNED THING WITH STICKERS.  SEE ONLY WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE

So I can’t post a selfie seriously.  This picture of me is not me, it’s not even close to being me.  I think Susan Sontag was right, I think we do mistake photographs for reality and I think it’s changed the way we see the world and with the advent of the selfie it’s changed the way we see ourselves and relate to one another, connecting surface to self at levels previously unimaginable.  Honestly, I think it might be a bit dangerous.

But it may also be the perfect way to encapsulate your vision of yourself and project it out into the world, and there is real value in that, and a certain power too.  That isn’t something that time or wrinkles will change, it’s an ongoing process of self-discovery and connection with the outside world.  Besides, what if the selfie is a part of our collective journey towards recognizing the fundamental spiritual truth of impermanence?  We can’t know the futility of trying to hold onto youth and beauty and any given moment until it’s utterly impossible to do so anymore.

We have to remember that most of the people taking selfies are in their teens and twenties.  What’s going to happen to them when they age?  Will they still delight in taking them?  Or will they be shamed by their own children who disavow the phenomena altogether?  (GOD MOM.  LIKE, NO ONE IS EVEN USING SNAPCHAT ANYMORE.  GEEZ.)

I don’t know.  But I must confess I’m extremely curious to find out.  So here’s to the next forty years of self-reflection and/or narcissism.  Let’s hope that on the other side of all that shamelessness we don’t find giant pools of shame and self-undoing and if we do let’s hope we wade through it to the other side and find a view worthy of yes, yet another SELFIE.  Older and wiser and more selfieish than ever before…

Hold your babies tight

DSC_0615 copy

I was going through some old memory cards yesterday and I came across some shots I took of Little Lonely and T last spring.  I think it was the same day we scouted for a place to take her headshots.  Afterwards we went out to eat and I snapped these after dinner.  I’d forgotten about them, actually, and looking through them I can see why.  None of the images is perfect on their own.  They don’t work independently of one another, I can’t frame any of them.

DSC_0619 copy

But there’s something about all of them together that I just love.  It catches the two of them and the way they are together that settles deep into my heart and connects me to the both of them and then to my own mother too.

DSC_0621 copy

I was five when my mum went back to work.  My dad stayed home with us for the next four years.  My parents were really ahead of their time, you know.  When you’re little you don’t know your parents are radical, because they’re in charge of teaching you what’s normal.  Looking back now and I just feel profoundly lucky for all those years with my Dad and how he got me and my brother pocket knives and helped us make spears and build igloos.  But that was later.  The first few months were tough, I missed my mum something fierce.

DSC_0620 copy

I remember waiting for her to come home one night, my face pressed up against the window, looking out on the trees outside (our nearest neighbor was a quarter mile away).  It was pitch black out there but warm and bright inside.  The lights from the living room reflected on the window and only disappeared when I pressed my forehead all the way to meet it.  The surface of the glass was cold and smooth against my skin.

DSC_0637 copy

I willed her to come home to me.  My longing for her was so intense it burned a hole through space and time such that I remember it still.  The longing was mixed with a new feeling: cold resignation.  I accepted that she was gone and not coming back until the headlights of the car could be seen coming up the hill through the trees.  So I stood there, waiting.

DSC_0638 copy

And, of course, the headlights did eventually shoot through the inky black of the night and bring her home to me.  And then she was in the door and the warmth of the house and she held me close and told me she loved me and missed me too and everything was fine and life went on.  I got used to Dad being the one to fix scrapes and wipe tears and I got used to the ways he did it that were different than how mum did it.  But I never forgot that long night when I first realized things had changed and wouldn’t be going back again.  And honestly, I think there’s a part of me still standing at that window somewhere waiting for it to all go back to normal again.  To live a life where nothing that goes wrong can’t be solved by my mother’s arms around me and her voice in my ear telling me she believes in me and won’t let anything bad ever happen.

And when I’m with LL and T for moments at a time I feel like it has gone back to normal.  And nothing bad can ever happen ever as long as I can just stay here where it’s warm and cozy.  And I’ll be safe.  We’ll all be safe.  Forever and ever and ever.

This is the real reason to have kids, you know.  To be reconnected with that, with the cycle of life and love and connection.  To be cast out of it in childhood is inevitable and returning to it is uncertain.  But it’s possible, and I can tell you now that returning to it is just as sweet – and maybe more – than having it in the first place.

The asteroid Sisyphus

Sisyphus, as imagined by the D'Aulaire's

Sisyphus, as imagined by the D’Aulaire’s

Just yesterday I finally moved some of my furniture back into place after living with it in the middle of my apartment for the past few weeks.  I’m not sure I can describe the exquisite relief of placing my plant back where it belongs on my beautiful bookshelf back where it belongs.  Unfortunately, it turns out that my embrace of normalcy was premature because not three hours later I spotted a bed bug on my bed.  And it wasn’t moving like a zombie the way the few I spotted early last week did, all on its last legs, oh no.  This one was spry and fresh and making its way across my bed linen without a care in the world.

I actually started weeping.  After I squashed it, of course.

I’m beginning to feel as though this will never ever ever end.  I cannot explain what it’s like to live with all my belongings in plastic bags, the furniture piled up in the middle of the room, navigating through towers of my plastic wrapped belongings like a hoarder who has forgotten what she even owns.  This is quite contrary to my normal way of living.  Left to my own devices my home is generally very organized, open and easy on the eyes.  I prefer a rather formal aesthetic.  With Saturn (order) in the 4th (home) in mutual reception with Venus (beauty) that’s no surprise.

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that I’m getting sadder and sadder, feeling more and more hopeless, returning to old feelings of depression and despair.  I’ve been watching a lot of tv.  I have four or five emails I need to respond to that have been sitting in my inbox for weeks.  Everything is sliding.  It’s so dramatic after how happy I was just a month ago, and it’s pretty clear to me it’s related to the current state of my home.  Waking up to this mess all I want to do is go back to sleep.

Sisyphus loses his marble

Sisyphus loses his marble

Pluto at ten degrees Capricorn isn’t just transiting my Sun, it’s transiting the asteroid Sisyphus, which is conjunct my Sun.  The fact that the asteroid Sisyphus is conjunct my Sun is the very thing that made me start paying attention to asteroids in the first place, it’s just so on the nose, and describes my experience so precisely.  The legend of Sisyphus, you may remember, is the one where the guy is doomed to all eternity to forever push an enormous rock up a hill only to have it roll back down the moment he reaches the summit.

For most of my life I have struggled with the nagging certainty that there really is no point to anything, effort is essentially a waste of time, so the legend of Sisyphus speaks to me, I identify with it.

The lesson of Sisyphus, at least as far as I can tell, is to release oneself from expectation or interest in outcome.  There is only now, there is only pushing a boulder up a hill.  There is no point, it just is.  Theoretically this is actually no bad thing.  It’s very zen, actually.

If I could squash the myth of Sisyphus inside me the way I squashed that bug last night, oh I fucking would.  But I know better by now.  The only way out is through.  There is no end to bed bugs, there is only battle with them.  There is no security, no home in my home right now.  The only thing I’ve been able to keep ordered and collected and familiar is writing here.  So I will just keep doing it.  Not because there is anywhere to get, but because.  Just.  Because.

I don’t have to know why, I don’t have to worry about getting to the top because there is no top.  There is no place to get.  There is only here and now and this here boulder and my shoulder leaning hard against it.

 

Deep breath.  Push