Astrology | Editing | Awesomeness

Mars station direct: Natsukashii

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The bond, thick and thorned. Our youth intertwined, inextricable. I do not miss whoever he is now. I don’t know him anymore. I miss him as he was. I miss what he was for me when we met, that dark mirror.

His good friend Z brought it back to me, his sense of humor. They grew up together, and working with Z on a forthcoming publication for Rubedo Press this past winter, I saw contours of it, of that thing, the thing that made me find myself again, that stopped me from continuing down a wrong path, a path that compromised the very spark that lights me up, that powerful “I-was-born-to-do-this” work. He saw that spark in me like no one else had. And against that vision, seeing where I had taken myself, how far I had gone off my path, I knew my entire life had to change. Right there and then.

Continue reading Mars station direct: Natsukashii

Burying a Marriage

As the planet Venus edges up to a conjunction with Pluto, and Adam Elenbaas waxes lyrical on the nature of love under this configuration, I’m reminded of a ritual I designed and performed three years ago . . . Even when you ‘consciously uncouple’ in the most amicable and tender way, divorce takes its toll.

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In January of 2013 after living on my own for over a year after the end of my nearly four year marriage, I noticed that Venus was edging up to a conjunction with Pluto. I checked in with myself. What needed to happen now?

At this point, my ex-husband and I had exhausted our need to talk. We spent the final half year of our time together discussing the end of our relationship with the rawest of honesty. We coined these discussions ‘DeepCons’—deep conversations. These DeepCons and our ability to stay present and patient with one another through them confirmed the strength of our relationship. They almost made us question why we were divorcing, but we both knew it was time to part ways. We sat together, face to face, and shared all that we needed to share so that we would be able to begin our next lives without any residual drag from this relationship. One day, we found ourselves naturally speechless, having said all that needed to be said. We recognized that we had reached the end of the line, so we both got off the train we had built and parted ways into the night. It was one of the most sublime moments I have ever shared with anyone in relationship.

Despite our care with one another, and my exhilaration to be on my own again, something tugged still. I realized that I needed more closure—closure with myself, not with him. I decided to hold a private funeral for my marriage.

After a day of work, I ran home to get some symbolic items to bury. I wanted to time the funeral with the setting sun and the sinking conjunction of Venus and Pluto across the western horizon, the point of the sky that symbolizes marriage and the ‘other’. The sun sets early in Northern California in January, so that left me with only a few moments to scoop up some nickels, hex-nuts, and other small trinkets, before I hopped into my car and fetched a good friend I had asked to attend my funeral. Somehow I felt that it would make things more concrete for me to have someone else witness it.

We sped off to the Albany Bulb, a part of the Bay Area colonized by artists and the homeless, built on the wreckage of an old landfill. It was a spot I had visited during my first months in Berkeley, and where I had also interred all of my college ex-boyfriend’s gifts to me after our relationship ended. This space became the proper burial grounds for these old relationships. (Venus/Pluto, art made on a landfill!).

We climbed to a part of the land pregnant with meaning to me, an amphitheater of sorts laced with rusted steel rebar, cracked tile mosaics, destroyed plastic dolls, and other makeshift sculpture. She stood by as I burnt some sage to clear the immediate space around us. I said some lines about my deceased marriage, gave it a proper send off, and began digging a tiny pit at the edge of a large sculpture of an angel. My fingers spread the earth open, and I prepped the little items I had taken with me for burial.

Nickels for me held the power of the number five and the gravity of currency. Literal buried treasure. Not much, but enough to be significant as actual money. Hex-nuts are (still!) my personal good luck charms. There is a specific logic to me about how they come into my life, and I rarely, if ever, give them away. But here I was saying goodbye to these dear objects, feeling what it felt like to put my luck back into the ground in an act of witnessed finitude.

As my fingers pushed the three nickels and five hex-nuts into the dirt, I started to cry. I realized that what I needed to mourn wasn’t him; it was my investment in the relationship itself. I spent eight years devoted to someone who couldn’t give me what I needed. The immensity of my misplaced investment of resources (love, energy, time) hit me. Three nickels, five hex-nuts . . . one item per year. Eight years gone. Buried.

We climbed another part of the peninsula, past other remnants, trash heaps, overgrown detritus. Venus, under the Sun’s beams, was just as invisible as Pluto to our naked eyes. But we watched as the sun sank lower, and the color drained out of the sky.

Walking along the pathway back to the car, we spotted a Rubik’s cube painted onto a rock. Perfectly aligned.

Rubiks Cube

 ~

I’m grateful to Adam for reminding me of this potent moment. Where are our love contracts? Are they being upheld honestly? Are our love agreements being honored (with partners and ourselves)? What are our terms, negotiations, positions? As Adam said, “love me little but by this love may some greater accomplishment be made.” Sometimes that means fully letting a loved one go, acknowledging the death of one form of relationship in order to enable a deeper love to flourish.

On early love

This past week, I had the pleasure of spending quiet hours with my friends Al and Mal in New York City. They exhibit the most exquisite kind of love I think I’ve ever seen two people express toward each other—a sureness, a trust, a gentleness. Being around them feels like a balm on my soul. Perhaps, I thought, some of their love would rub off on me? Through osmosis? I feel thoroughly lucky to have spent so much close time with them.

Over the course of our days together, we talked about love, often. What’s the secret? What are the rest of us missing? But their answers came less in words and more through action. Rather than expose my friends here, though, I mention their capacity for love as a backdrop to share something that Mal expressed to me this morning.

After spending nearly two weeks in the frozen New York City clime, feeling warmed by the furnaces of friendship and fidelity, I returned to my Cascadian home, which is still wet, lighter now, with the solstice behind us, and teeming with that held breath before spring gives way. I too had held breath, felt anticipation, and sudden sadness. A sadness I do not often reveal publicly. Yet there it is. Still here.

I asked Mal why it is we encounter certain obstacles on the pathway of new love. Among her responses, she revealed a hidden gem:

early love, like early spring, is colder and more uncomfortable than we want it to be”

Those words floored me. Of course. She’s so right. As a child, I grew up moving every single year. I had to learn how to make friends faster and more furiously than most children. And, as a likely consequence, I fall in love faster and more furiously than most I know. The jump to immediate intimacy becomes necessary in a world that can be pulled out from under you, nearly as regularly as the earth goes round the Sun.

I always interpreted this ability to connect quickly as a gift. How nice it is to be able to make friends everywhere and without hesitation. You have nothing to lose because your reality shifts constantly outside your control. (This is actually always true, but most people forget about it. Readers of Nietzsche tend to stay closer to the chaos). When faced with this kind of uncertainty, might as well show up fully, forging eternal summers in each moment. (Those were the days of pen pals, maybe a reason why I love postcards so much, carries on the connection just that bit longer).

But in German, gift (das Gift) means poison, and the flip side to instant openness is investing in people who are not actually suited to you, who claim to love you, but don’t, can’t, or who are otherwise, in the end, entirely unavailable. Eternal summers are an illusion. You cannot rush the seasons, no matter how much you may want to.

So Mal said it. Early love, early spring.

Just imagine, Werner Herzog, narrating to you: After a crisp sunny day, the wind still stings. As the ground stirs to life, newly germinated seeds drown in pools of rainwater. Earthworms, crushed underfoot, litter the wet sidewalks. New flowers unfurl and are silenced by frostbitten dawns before their prime. We think of it as the start of a new voluptuous season, but, really, its onset is fraught with terror. Winter persists in its attempts to annihilate the coming of new life. We pick desperately at our scabs, hoping to make the wounds heal, but really, we’re only smearing our new lovers in pus and wondering why they don’t like it.

Ok, Werner. Enough.

So now, in 2016, alone, on the frontier of an entirely new chapter, I wish to love in a new way. I wonder how to move through this uncharted space. Flashes of connection rise and fall, feeling alternately close and entirely foreign. Tiny raindrops fall like needles into my skin. My eyelids, plastered in transparent petals, are opening, ever so slowly this time, to a landscape I’ve never seen before. Terrific and terrifying…

early love