Archive | Cat Lady Matters

My Corner of the Sky Inside

It was a beautiful morning full of the bittersweet longing that defines middle-age, regardless of whether you’re coupled up, family’d up, quarantined up. I woke before the sun, made strong French-press coffee with cream, finished reading my detective novel before springing into the day. Maneuvered mini-car Minerva over the bridge to pretty-pretty John Lindsay park from which I walked miles and miles up the Manhattan side of the East River–steering clear of the runners (oy vey), nodding at all my fellow masked travelers. On a patch of waterfront grass as far from the madding crowd as you can find on a NYC morning, I flopped down to pray and meditate and swan in soft unkempt sun. Only a particularly curious squirrel crept up, and she kept a respectful distance as I pulled down my mask and breathed in big big air. By then it was 9 am so I cruised over to the Tompkins Square greenmarket to fetch gorgeous spring produce (strawberries! ramps! mint! pea shoots!) and mediocre peonies (even mediocre peonies are peonies) before scooting home, Roberta Flack pouring out of the speakers. Back home I baked skillet cornbread and pickled watermelon radishes while jabbering on the phone with a friend about a disappointing love.

From a corner permakitten watched through greenly slitted eyes–judging my backsliding as only a feline can judge.

Now it’s midday and I’m already worn out and at loose ends. That’s not pandemic. That’s the sadness that finds us in all the places quotidian pleasures can’t reach. You know: those corners we just don’t feel held. Come mid-life, only the foolish believe those corners fully disappear.

So, dear ones, no nonchurchy church this afternoon. This is a day for reception rather than inception–for rest rather than rigor and wonder even when you can’t wander. Mary Oliver wrote: “My job is loving the world.” It’s all of our jobs, really. Love up your corner of the sky today. I suspect I’m poised for a three-hour nap and a to-go tequila cocktail. Then next Sunday (5/24) we’ll Sky-Inside together. Mark those calendars: (5/24) at 1pm on Rubyintuitionbk IG Live.

Divining Mother’s Day

I’m not going to do my usual drill of shitting on Mother’s Day. Yes, I am electively child-free and have gone on record for years about my complicated relationship with this Hallmark holiday, and the pit-pedestal roles projected upon mothers (all women, really). But I honor the challenges, sacrifices, and very hard work competent care-taking entails, especially during this time of profound upheaval. I honor all compassionate guidance. I honor the Divine Feminine, whose principles of radical receptivity, loving-kindness, and limitless love offer our only true path forward. And I am holding space on my Rubyintuitionbk Live Instagram feed at 1pm for those who’d like some non-churchy-church service around the very human need to receive and give care. Do drop by, and pour yourself a strong one if it helps.

Book an intuition reading for yourself or a loved one to better activate loving-care.

Neighbor Vincent

I have a new friend. He is five and a quarter years old and I know this because it is the first thing he told me about himself. Actually he piped it out in a deliciously squeaky Owen Meany-style voice across the small alley between our two buildings. In all the years I’ve lived in my apartment–20 come February–I’ve never known anyone who lived in that building. But Vincent–his name is the second fact that he piped across our shared alley–has decided we are going to be friends while we are stuck at home since our rear windows face each other. (It’s the window in my kitchen and the window to his bedroom, where he is “lots of boring time.”) Vincent is small even for a five-and-a-quarter year-old and wears neatly pressed polo shirts and a tennis ball haircut and has an oddly formal manner for a child of this century. We first began chatting one day as I was fixing lunch and immediately he insisted he learn my full name and I learn his. Then and only then did he proceed to tell me about his favorite hobby, which, of course, is wizardry. I have yet to tell Vincent I work as a real-life witch because I worry his voice will achieve decibels and octaves that will break all the window panes in both our buildings. Instead, I have told him about Grace, whom he told me sometimes “watches him in a spooky way.” When he said this, I nodded gravely–she is, after all, a witch’s familiar and thus (hilariously) spooky. In exchange Vincent regales me with tales about his new kitty-cat. Here is the second-best thing about Vincent: He named his new kitty-cat Kermit. Here is the first-best thing thing about Vincent: He keeps me company while I do the dishes, which we all know has become the most Sisyphean activity of them all. Sometimes Vincent even warbles a few songs. (He favors the Beatles, which is perfect because I always thought they were children’s performers at heart.) Vincent’s parents have decided to tolerate their child’s friendship with the cat lady across the way because we’re all adrift in this never-ending Norman Lear sitcom now. The big news of the week was the nest that two doves built on my fire escape. Vincent and I can’t stop talking about them because he thought he saw a few eggs and babies for our family is just what the doctor ordered. Vincent is what my mother once upon a time might have called a real pip. He’s a dreamboat of a neighbor is what I think.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy