The Elephant in the Room

Where to start? Retrograde. As in Mercury. It started last Friday and all I’m saying is ya’ll just come in quietly and don’t say a word.

I’m spreading expended coffee grounds around my precious flowers and so far have not seen any further damage, but continued vigilance is the name of the game. I’ve snipped the dead blooms and still need to prune back the firebushes or whatever the hell they’re called.

Meanwhile, in the backyard…

The latest casualty, last night, was a small squirrel. I’m alternately hating on the dogs and loving them when they’re not terrorizing clearly dumb animals – I’m conflicted on how to feel because they do not draw blood from these creatures. They see them as playthings, until there’s no longer a response. This morning Shuggie laid on top of my feet as I sat here and almost made me forget the things I hate.

Any hope I had that spaying would soften Bee’s mania is all but a pipe dream. She is a fucking maniac. I need to use the f word because it emphasizes how extreme. She is. a FUCKING. Maniac. And, while I am sporting the occasional bruise, I have to admit I love that she is content in her surroundings enough to be her authentic self – even if that self upends water bowls, turns over carpets, and damages everything in her path. She’s a 45-lb bull in a china shop. Except when there is company. Then she makes a wide path around them while looking over her shoulder with the biggest side-eye I’ve ever seen in any living being.

So this first retrograde of 2023 falls under the Taurus sign and I don’t know whether that’s good or bad but I can tell you I’m already feeling the emotional tug of war. I always thought Mercury in retrograde meant things just start breaking and/or not working – like dishwashers and cars – but I’m here to testify it also refers to emotional stability.

Not for nothing, I am acutely aware of some major milestones for my two kids – and they are on my mind every day. Every. Day. I am constantly reminded of my son by the appearance of his birthday numbers everywhere I look. I read his Free Will horoscope* last week and it was all about acknowledging how we’ve all been hurtful to those we love at some point in our lives and that the coming weeks are a good time to begin to heal that pain. “The goal is to purge your iffy karma and graduate from the past.” WHOA.

I think that somewhere in the crosshairs both of my children have been taught that I am unreasonable and angry and that I am not who they know me deeply to be. I would give anything to look into their eyes and have them looking back at me. I have been through all the emotions and the one that lingers longest is Love. There is absolutely nothing that cannot be healed, and they would know that if they cared long enough to self-reflect.

Coincidentally, the Gemini horoscopes are all about pain and healing. Last week’s was inspired by poet Pablo Neruda: “Our own wounds heal with weeping, / Our own wounds heal with singing.” Both designed for recovery “from emotional pain and distress.”

This week’s was inspired by poet Ijeoma Umebinyuo: “1. “Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have.” 2. “You must let the pain visit. You must allow it to teach you. But you must not allow it to overstay.”

The third point was to write a poem to my 14-year-old self, “[f]orgive her. Heal her. Free her.” Not sure THAT is particularly necessary but perhaps as an exercise. Nevertheless, the previous paragraphs are really for anyone who is experiencing pain and sadness that never fully goes away. If ya’ll want to write a poem to your 14yo self, go right ahead. I’m thinking my poem would be to my 29-year-old self. Or my 35-year-old self. Perhaps today.

Recent, casual observations

Timing is everything. Case in point: always arriving at the hospital at the exact moment that toileting, or bathing is taking place.

Any time you sit down on the toilet is opportunity for someone to interrupt. I swear to God I could spend 4 hours putzing around unmolested in the morning but the minute my ass hits that seat there’s a knock on the door. WTAF???

Friends are the salve on the paper cuts of life. I called my bestie on her birthday and I don’t know about her but it lifted my unsuspecting spirits in surprising ways. I had two calls from friends on Thursday – more calls than I’ve had in a month – and, while they caught me with martini in hand, the power of these connections was so restorative. Perhaps it’s the message that YOU matter. I hope that the effects are reciprocal.

Having been an only-child for all of my formative years (except for a stepsister who enjoyed terrorizing me as much as I did her), I am a high-functioning loner who can spend days alone without need of anyone else. I’m sure it’s maddening to Todd.

Also maddening to Todd – misplacing something he was using. He’s at a conference today where he left his Yeti cup at the site where he was setting up last night and so was forced to drink his first cup from a scotch glass this morning. Sounds a little more like college days than mid-50s work conference, but my brother is with him and so that should tell you all you need to know.

* Rob Brezney’s Free Will Astrology. It’s not your average horoscope. Highly recommend.

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