Dear Bunny Rabbits,
Here are the little offerings I have for you this May. I love you all so much even though I have a hard time sprinkling my love around willy-nilly. That’s because you make me a little wiser every month and helps me pay my phone bill, too!
So thank you from the depths of my oceanic heart,
P.S. It’s May!
P.S. Thanks Claire!
P.S. Money can’t buy love but it keeps me coming back!
Some of us were born to drag our heels along the dirt path, to slow the wheel, but not you. You, Aquarius, have an inventor’s heart. When the going is slow, you ask “what would it take to clear the path, to gather momentum?” You turn your delicate eye toward the surrounding world and decipher its inner workings.
Sometimes this drive is your saving grace, the spark that illuminates your darkest moments, the spirit that drags you out of the doldrums and keeps you in good company. Why is it, then, that you spend so much time denying your gift for greatness?
Even as opportunity after opportunity comes your way, even as love opens and closes the chambers of your heart, even after days persistent with small perfect offerings, you turn inward. You must know that you are always on your path. There is no way off. You can choose to deny your purpose or you can move forward with grace. The sun is pouring down from the open sky. It wants you to straighten your back and stand tall in the light.
You’ve been working hard to cultivate your solitude, figuring out what it means to love yourself and when loving yourself is the best thing you can do. The hot water whistles and you steep the same herbs in the same cup. It’s good for you… or it’s good enough.
It would be better if you weren’t alone. Oh I know that you’re often near another body, I know that you are full of easy charm and infectious good times that draw bees to the bright pollen of you.
I admit, I am afraid of isolation,
and of the way the land breaks off here
and of the woman who says forever
moving her tongue along my skin
like she means it.
If I believe her, I will suffer.
If I don’t believe her, I will suffer.
(Stacie Cassarino, “NW”)
I know too, soft one, that there’s a closed door in you. Lovers and friends come and go, rapping their knuckles on the wood, peering through the keyhole and trying desperately to ascertain what lives behind it. What fear and false knowledge do you hold onto which keeps the door closed so tight? Maybe it’s time you began the slow painful work of opening. All this time you’ve convinced yourself that the ones who come will not be ready for what they find inside of you. It’s you who wasn’t ready. You’re ready now.
Did you see Tracy Chapman’s recent performance of “Stand By Me” on The David Letterman show? Seems to me like America must have summoned her onto that stage just so she could break our hearts a little. I’ve been listening to another Tracy Chapman song this week, “Across the Lines.” When she sings about the riots, part of me remembers the song’s release date (1988) and part of me feels she must mean these riots, in Baltimore, in Ferguson, in our hearts everyday louder and louder.
Who would dare to go? Tracy Chapman would. Because she’s an Aries. Because her heart is full of un-wavering courage.
What would it look like if you channeled the dynamic creativity you harness toward something that truly mattered to you? Why waste your time with what doesn’t inspire you? Aries, you hold in your body the possibility of uncountable exciting futures. Despite numerous disappointments, you rise and meet the day. So why wait? Failure is a small price to pay on the way toward greatness.
Taurus, I’m writing you from a new cafe situated on Brighton Beach. A grandmother pushes her walker; she’s wearing a red velvet chauffeur-style cap, a bejeweled purple sweater, and there’s a white parrot perched on her arm. Men amble along with their collars starched, silk sleeves rolled up, loafers just shined. Across the street, a babushka is sitting on the cement across from the fruit stand selling intricate white wool scarves.
Years ago, everyone was talking about Coney Island. Performing rituals of closing. There was loss and long-time establishments closed but, concurrently, revived interest, beautiful murals and sculptures. The Steeplechase tower got repainted and you can see someone hammering nails into their nose every Thursday at the Freak Show.
Even after Hurricane Sandy, after so much heartbreak, the Cyclone stands, the flower shops re-open and there, right on the sidewalk, are hills of lilac wrapped in butcher paper. What I’m trying to tell you is that there are places in this world that resist devastation, people who rise up from under crashing waves with their cups full and their hair looking really good. You are one of those.
It’s May! It’s May! The sun is close, the earth is soft, and flowers bow under the tiny weight of butterflies. Don’t you feel new too? I see you wrapped up in bright colors, washed clean of winter’s dust and despair.
What’s love got to do with it? (It should be about trust it should be about us, baby) Everything. Because love is beautiful and generative, it challenges us to be our best selves, to build bridges over impossible distances.
Has love made a bloom of your heart? If so then surely you must have noticed how strangers are drawn to you, how they bring you offerings in exchange for a little of your light. If love has opened you, then the world sees you open and opens in return. It gives you everything you need and more than you ever expected.
But, Twin-star, if you are reading this with a closed heart, if you are wrapped in the shadow of what might have gone right but keeps going wrong then know this: the world can only offer us what we make room for. It’s simple. The longer you hold onto what doesn’t lift you up, the longer you keep yourself at the bottom.
You keep a lot inside, much more than many people around you perceive. You set the table and lay each pain separately on the crisp white tablecloth and begin to explain: when this happened, when this was said, when that was done. Emotions don’t scare you and so you find it easy enough to lay them bare like small artifacts, the pieces to the puzzle of your life. You are, in many ways, the master of hiding in plain sight. Except, of course, from those who love you, who have witnessed you separate yourself (time and time again) from your wounded parts, as careful as a surgeon, and dive headfirst into work, errands… anything that will distract you.
Do you return to those wounds at night, Cancer? Do they follow you quietly home after all your work is done? Perhaps it’s not enough to name what ails you, to reasonably state the case as one might if one were a scientist of the heart.
If I could pull you in closer I would. If I could wrap your body up in my body, if you could feel my fortitude, you might let go of yours. And then you could tell me, again, where it hurts. We’d touch each sore spot together. Here? Here.
There’s this poem I used to carry around with me everywhere, a cycle by Canadian poet (and Leo) Esta Spalding. The poem, “August,” has many beautiful moments but this is the one I held onto:
You said, there are women
I know whose presence
changes the quality of air.
I am not one of those.
I want to pretend I don’t know why I loved those words for so long, that I know deep in my heart I am a woman who can, for someone—for many someones, change a room simply by entering it. Truth is, I know how to convince myself that I’m nothing special. It’s easy to believe that what sets me apart is exactly what will turn people away. Out of fear or misunderstanding, out of an inability to relate. I know too that in choosing to believe those words I choose the safety of invisibility over the risk of being seen and in being seen—loved.
When you inhabit your diminished self, when you choose to hide your specialness from the world so that those around you might be comfortable—so there is no risk of loss, you give up the chance to experience being loved wholly. You reinforce a belief (you hate to admit you hold) that being loved wholly is not for you and never was but, darling, you are wrong.
Once, Virgos surrounded me. They came out of the woodwork and into my life. If I needed a romantic walk in the woods, if I wanted to make a silly lip-syncing video to combat depression, if I was filled with the sudden desire to get my nipples pierced …there was a Virgo for that. At that point in my life, I so lacked grounding and nurture, the goddess sent me a Virgo superpack. I was better off for it.
Virgo, I know that you often feel called to take care. When your paid work is done, you find yourself facing the volunteer work. When the volunteer work is done, you uncover old favors you promised to pay. And always, alongside the work you do with your hands, are the labors of your heart.
Virgo, know this: none of that work was wasted on me. Just, sometimes it’s important we let the world give back to us. That’s about trust without expectation, about believing the best in people and letting the story unfold without our help. Virgo, this month I give you permission to let the work come to you. “You have loved enough, now let me be the lover.”
There are people out there who have no idea who they are. They look down at their hands and see only their hands. They allow themselves to imagine what the world tells them to imagine and nothing more than that. You are not of those. Libra, you know exactly what your hands are capable of, how to fall in love with your life and love how you make a living. In fact, these days, seems to me like you know exactly what you want and like you might, with a little grease, have everything you need to work your way toward it.
Except you don’t. You know what I mean, you put on the old songs that strike up the old insecurities, you walk the old walk to the tune of someone you don’t have to be. And that’s how you keep it going, that’s how you keep your magic packed up in the back of your closet where even you forget about it. You look down at your hands and pretend you don’t notice how much more they could be doing. When people come close, you ward them off, you let them see the box put away, never what’s in it.
But you want them to come closer, need them to. Every night you wonder where your magic’s gone but nothing is lost, sweet one. Not your possibilities and not all the work you’ve done to get this far. Just take down the box and hold it like it’s yours.
Are Scorpios especially sensitive to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or is there another reason that the very same thoughts that made it impossible to get out of bed all winter barely phase you as summer starts to come on? You’re stirring that lemonade and letting all the sour sediment drift to the bottom as you sip sweetness from the rim.
Why not? Is there some law, some ordinance in place that mandates we crawl on our hands and knees begging for salvation until it manifests out of thin air?
If there is then you needn’t worry about it. You are the salvation you’ve been waiting for and sometimes you’ve got to stir the sugar in yourself because who the fuck else is gonna make it just the way you like it? Practicing hopefulness is work and it’s admirable. It’s OK to put planning the future on pause and focus on today. To allow for the possibility that despite everything being entirely up in the air, despite how much sour there is right there at the bottom of your glass, there’s a chance you just might be happy.
Once, in a PHD class on Feminist Literary Theory, a girl leaned across the table and asked, “Where is the body? Where is the body?” She was talking about the author’s relationship to the text but we rolled with it. It was a joke we took everywhere with us. “Where is the body?” we would ask each other over salmon benedict with not enough salmon. “Where is the body?” recounting sex escapades without substance, without the fruit of desire.
Sagittarius, we spend so much time, you and I, asking each other this with regard to the pulp of our lives. We forget the body itself, the flesh and muscle, the bone.
The body distracted, the body put to sleep or buzzing with anxious energy. The body rummages through empty cabinets looking for sugar. The body takes the same meal every day, sufficient without pleasure. The body, your body, needs you to return with offerings in your hands. Give it a stretch, Archer, give it a run and bring it in. An arrow can’t be strung on a loose bow.
There was a time I nurtured the wild heart in me. I fucked girls on midnight park benches and in between train cars. I held their perfect backs as they flew down long avenues on bicycles. I held on and I fell off too. I believed I was a woman with bad boundaries. That I let too many people in too close, that I had a hard time sleeping alone.
I don’t believe that anymore. I know now that wildness is not the opposite of restraint. That one can run naked through the streets and still know nothing about vulnerability. Boundaries, it turns out, are the very thing that gave me strength to love as hard as I did without ever losing myself.
Capricorn, are you sitting at home, sorting through each name in your rolodex, wondering who is worth your company? Capricorn you don’t know everything you think you know. And, you won’t find out unless you let yourself scratch beneath the surface. That means staying out a little later, getting just a little more free, trusting that no matter how wild the wind, you won’t get blown away.