Dear April Bunnies,
This month I have held each of you close to my heart. I have written tiny ideas in my IPhone notes while on the train to work. Have dog-eared books and magazines. I’ve paused mid-conversation in sticky bars to write down the revelatory truth of my friends’ experiences. Yes, there’s no point in arguing with an Aries and there’s no point in trying to push back against that Moon when the pull is so strong. Just go with it. You are having a Sagittarius Problem, I claim tenderly to my sweet friend when she needs to be validated about her social graces. We laugh about our wounds like we’ve just discovered the fussy old things.
Maybe April was the cruelest month for T.S Eliot (possibly for Chaucer too) but if it is cruel then the cruelty is a beautiful stretch. The month opens and our muscles ache and limber. In waking from winter, we take the world in and all its buds prescient with bloom. These love notes were seeds once.
Now they are ready to be yours.
With Spring Sweetness,
P.S. If you’d like to donate to the making of these horoscopes, you can donate at my PAYPAL!
It means a lot to me! I love you!
P.P.S. If you have written me a letter, I will write you back. I am just very slow due to a panicky nature.
P.P.P.S. [Thank you, Claire Skinner, as always. You are the best psychic and even better friend]
At the Key Food, with six dollars to spare, I’m desperately rifling through old bunches of kale in search of the most vibrant one. I’m starving and haven’t really eaten a full meal in two days. One of my hands suffers the inevitable cold mist while the other cradles a phone to my ear. My sweet friend is going through her first big breakup and this is the third evening in a row I’m trying my best to say something that might be of use.
We’re on opposite spectrums of radiance, my friend and I. My heart—a soft black stone with a bright red crack; hers—a brilliant clear prism refracting empathy and pain (which is also love). I want to tell her All true love must die, / Alter at the best / Into some lesser thing. / Prove that I lie. But one does not quote Yeats in the hopes of lifting a spirit. Not unless that spirit is the republican spirit of the Irish. Besides, I don’t believe those words completely. It’s just safer for my already ravaged heart if I live like I do.
Dear Aquarius, wherever you are tonight, no matter how little you can understand of what has pushed you to this precipice—this edge—you are powerful enough to face it. Your inner knowing—listen to it—it will get you home. Even if you have start again, even if that home doesn’t exist yet. What I come to, besides a less-than-choice wilted bunch of kale, is that knowledge will not do. Or, to quote yet another wizard (Kierkegaard): Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
That is what I want of you—out of the sight & sound of other people, to lie close to you & let the world rush by. To watch with you suns rising & moons rising in that purple edge outside most people’s vision—to hear high music that only birds can hear—oh, my dearest, dearest, would it not be wonderful, just once to be together again for a little while? / / (Just as I wrote those last words the muezzin began to cry his prayer from the little white minaret—he is still singing—) / / One is so silly, isn’t one?—Listening to him it seemed that he was calling us to worship—heaven knows what—something that we both hold dear.
Dear Pisces, I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but quote the whole of that text from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s (PISCES QUEER WITCH SUPREME) letters to Arthur Davison Ficke (SOME DUDE).
Today, as I lie in bed under my ever-flourishing asparagus fern (who I have just decided I will name Edna), I am thinking of you and your soft green heart. Green because I can feel it flourishing too, even if I am far from you. Even if you have never kept me close.
Oh I know these past few years have made a mess of you and, if you are honest, you might say that there have been times when it was you making the mess. Don’t bristle. We can all be toddlers sometimes when we enter a world that existed long before we arrived. Adjustment can be difficult—especially if it feels like you are the one making all the adjustments. Don’t believe that, Pisces. You must learn to be the kind of lover who balances devotion and independence both.
When the universe, when your work, when your family, your lover, made space for you—they had to carve a space out of their own lives. There will be times when you feel the enormity of that offering and there will be times when that space will limit you. Both of these emotions come from within you and are a beautiful challenge, a call to worship something you both hold dear no matter its difficulty.
Old patterns, no matter how negative and painful they may be, have an incredible magical power — because they do feel like home. – Gloria Steinem
The problem with being the kind of person who builds her home in someone else’s love is that it can be hard to look that home over for repairs. Especially if this has been the year when, time and time again, the labor you put into your partnerships eclipsed the work you still have to do on yourself.
Love, partnership, collaborative creative venture, these are fulcrum and catalyst to our personal journeys. Yes, we have soul mates and witnesses and lifelong accomplices but make no mistake—your journey is about no one else. Yes, there will be times when it feels like the fastest way toward your destination is to satisfy everyone else’s expectations of you, to perform a kind of work around the needs of others without ever really getting to yourself.
Aries, you can build your home in someone else’s heart but don’t confuse their heartache for the faults in your foundation. Learn to listen deeper for floor rot and roof drip, it’s not unfixable. Imagine yourself the carpenter of your home, which is to say, take care of yourself.
Everyday, I climb a long staircase in a building devoted to artist studios. Halfway up, my eyes rest on a landing where the words “nobody loves no one” are written in thin letters on the wall. Of course this reminds me of you and that birthday not so long ago when you drove clear out of our tiny town to spend a few hours listening to Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.
No, I wanna fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart) / With you. / The world was on fire and no one could save me but you. / It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.
What I love about that song and what I love about you is the way contradiction lives so passionately in your spirit. Last week, I spent two mornings with you. During our first breakfast, you were overworked and over stretched, guzzling caffeine and my reassuring words. The next day, I was running late—frazzled by roadblocks and bad money. “Even if you’re late, just come,” you said. “It’s nice where I am. Peaceful. I’ll buy you breakfast.” And, it was peaceful: my Bloody Mary perfectly viscous, everyone laughing about how crazy everyone is as our eggs popped over our hash browns.
There will be people in your life, people who see the caregiver in you, who will take advantage of the part of you that gives too much. They don’t know, and you often forget, that it’s the vulnerable side of you—the side that aches to be held and cared for and adored—that holds your most enduring and sweetest magic. Now that you have learned to discern the intentions of others, you can better share your sweetest self with those who will nourish you.
Last night I spent the evening with a three-year old girl, an air sign although not Gemini. We played all the usual games we play when I come to babysit: Play-doh cupcake factory, tickle monster, and my favorite “Where do these toys go? Why don’t you show me?” After a considerable amount of time clearing the floor while shimmy shamming, my young friend wanted to play a new game. The object of the game was fairly simple: She tucks me into a “bed” on the couch and I go to sleep. No I don’t get to put an arm over my eyes. Yes, I must hug this dusty stuffed sleep buddy. Her mama and abba kiss her before bed so yes here is my cheek. Then she leaves me. She leaves me on the couch and part of my job is to just lie there and wait. She’s gone for much longer than you’d expect, pressing little buttons around the apartment, arranging her construction sets. The object of the game (for her) began to clarify: to be in control of one’s solitude while maintaining connection.
Lying on the couch with the sun beating on my eyelids, I thought about how difficult it is to tend to our relationships without cultivating strength in our solitude. What I mean is, how hard it is to be fully present with someone else even if that someone is fully capable of seeing you and celebrating you for exactly who you are and what you have yet to actualize about yourself.
Let me just propose to you, for argument’s sake,
(I do, after all, wear perfume even when you’re away)
that my problem with Love is that it doesn’t signify
in anything but a series of contradictory analogies
that happen to turn me on.
We want our relationships to be beautiful sentences that go one forever by some invention of punctuation, to never feel run-on. But we fragment, we destabilize alone like dependent clauses. You are always an important part of the game and meaning exists, Gemini, when the sentence is not beautiful. The subject (that’s you) must lie down in the sun and wait to be beckoned, but the subject is active and valuable, is an expert at play.
The word of the day on my computer is sovereignty and Leonard Cohen is singing “That’s No Way To Say Goodbye.” Why does heartbreak never feel old, no matter how many times you go through it? When I was bright-hearted and in love, I sang this song to my sweetheart on mornings when she was waking beside me. When we were far from each other, I sang it into her voicemail box so that she might hear it when she longed for me. Well you should know that our love was great since my singing never was and she still listened.
I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time,
Walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
It’s just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea…
Relationships change us and in learning to build a world with someone (or someones) else, there are parts of ourselves that we tuck away—parts that don’t quite fit into the blueprint, that don’t fall in rhythm with the daily work that is a shared life. These parts learn to live in the shadows of the lovers’ psyche, to speak in low tones and walk softly.
It’s these shadow selves that rise smoky and thick in the throat when there is crisis, when the world you have built with the ones you love is no longer the one that fits your needs. Listen to these parts of you for they are sacred parts. They will teach you how to fight for your big love as your truest self. They will teach you how to fight for yourself.
When I get to your apartment at 10 am so that I might welcome your incoming renters, the previous ones are still there. They’re a handsome couple, straight, a political critic and a composer. English isn’t their first language so they smile at me every couple of minutes. The two of them are late with their check out yet they move slowly, ambling in and out of the bathroom, murmuring in the bedroom, shuffling their bags closer to the door. The time crunch makes me anxious and I lie down on the couch, still half asleep myself. It’s early evening in Russia and I wonder what you’re doing there.
When the couple finally shuffles out into the living room, I climb the ladder to your lofted bed and begin the surprisingly difficult task of changing the sheets. The guy pokes his head in and remarks, “Eh this is hard!” Then he points to the instructions you left for them. Next to my number, the words best friend. “Good friend! Ha ha!” he exclaims. “Sure,” I reply, thinking about all the times the year when I needed you and there you were. The least I can do.
And that’s how it is when you ask for exactly what you need. No matter how difficult, or how early for a nightowl, the people you have taken care of will take care of you. This is more than reciprocity (although it is also that). This is about trusting that the love you give to those who are precious to you, the amount you extend yourself, it’s precious to us and it’s never wasted.
Once, when I was breaking up with a lover, or a lover was breaking up with me, I flew across the country to haunt her. I housesat and couch-surfed and when I was selling poems or starving myself, I was reading Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson. That novel saved something in me, some bright light that was edging towards being doused, and when I was done I gifted it to the woman who left me.
About a decade later, I saw it at a friend’s house and decided to re-read it. I wanted to see how it would affect me now, what work it could do on my very different heart. It was a book that I remembered as difficult—linearly unwieldy, untrustworthy narrators, a constant shifting plot. That might still be so. It is also a book about beginning with loss. A book that takes an orphaned heart up into its arms and teaches it songs of survival.
The stories I want to tell you will light up part of my life and leave the rest in darkness. You don’t need to know everything. There is no everything. The stories themselves make the meaning. The continuous narrative is a lie. There is no continuous narrative, there are lit-up moments, and the rest is dark.
We tell our stories so that we might find the root, the reason why we came together and the reason why we failed. We think that we might use the past as a light to see, a little lamp as we dive deeper into big commitments, generative life endeavors and all the Big Things one learns to take on.
The past informs you as long as you keep returning to it—examining, turning over—and it is important that you do. This will ultimately gift you wisdom. That said, it is also important to honor this moment, as it is now, its own story with its own light and gorgeous revelations. This will grant you eyes with which to see in the dark.
Dear friend, If there were such a thing as saving someone–what I wouldn’t give to save you from your amorphous sadness. Whatever animal you keep at the spine-rock of your skeleton, sucking the song of your marrow dry. If I could coax it out like a wild thing from dark cover, give it sugar and sweet words. It loves a soft hand but not as much as the knife’s edge, I know.
But, there is no saving anyone else–no person or job or city or angel that will serve as an escape hatch from yourself. Perhaps one doesn’t save themselves anyway. Rather, make it your mission to consume every little bit of who you are–the parts you offer up and the parts you are ashamed of. Practice touching your body, your spirit, and your creative force without judgment. There is a future in that desire, a world you deny yourself that wants more than anything to have you.
I read this study a while back about how girls are done a disservice in their formative years. How they are praised for being talented or smart rather than acknowledged for the hard work and effort they put toward achieving their goals. For this reason, many girls grow up to be people who are afraid to go outside their comfort zone and develop a new skill lest they be found out: not smart, not talented enough. Instead, they limit their opportunities and their chances to thrive as deeply engaged and driven adults.
I don’t know when it began for you, dear Scorpio, that sinking feeling that maybe there are people in this world who never get to live up to their full potential and maybe you’re one of them. It’s easy to cite moments of trauma: loss of lovers, loss of family members, loss of self. It’s harder to look firmly at your life and consider that self-doubt was something ingrained into you. You must have been a powerful child, perceptive, quick to engage whatever text was set before you. Someone, or many someones, taught you to doubt that power in yourself, to imagine its source outside you rather than within you. Someone taught you that the world would either grant you favor or not and if you didn’t have it then—you sure as hell won’t have it now. But those people / institutions were wrong. You can earn the favor of the world simply by deciding you will work hard enough to deserve it.
It’s just like we’re in Jane Austen novel, you say to me as we depart from the airport in our Lyft. I agree; my hands clasped tight with excitement in my lap. We take in the wide expanse of Los Angeles, the meaty thruways and old punks with loafers. Our rented room is four flights up the stairs and our guide gifts us a bottle of wine upon entry. Once he leaves us we try on each other’s various dresses and impractical shoes, trade jewelry and lipstick. We take relaxing potions and set the scene: our three nights devoted to social grace and intellectual hunger.
Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings / Mansfield Park /Austen (Sagittarius)
Despite our crisp petticoats and perfectly poured martinis, it’s the end of the night and the mornings with you that sustain me. Our play marriage entirely Bostonian, our bodies un-touching through the night, yet you dream that my dead father comes to you in a gesture of sweetness. When I arrive at the house gate at 3 am and a stranger approaches me, it is you rushing down the stairs exclaiming I know I should have put on pants but I mean to protect you! When, in the morning, you burst into tears over the busy nothings waiting for you at home—the work you do that goes unappreciated—I tell you I mean to take care of you. Beloved friend, I know you are good at pressing on. Tell me what ails you anyway, so that I can care for your heart while you walk your path toward self-empowerment.
There are certain kinds of knowledges that readers take for granted. We know, because Zora Neale Hurston told us so, that there are years that ask questions and years that answer. But, how does one live inside a year that asks questions, that just keeps asking relentlessly. The year touches your shoulder in the morning as you wake, the year tugs you toward the same breakfast you make everyday of your goddamn life, the year is with you filing your taxes and folding your clothes and goddamnit the year won’t shut up.
Were you made for the consumption of a world that does not sustain you? Were you made to serve any one person or revolution without first learning how to care for yourself? How can you care for yourself when yourself is splitting apart? Are you tough enough to live through this? When you live inside a year that asks questions, you are the one with the answers. The year that asks questions pushes you forward but it is not in charge. You are. You make the rules.