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The Church of Gentle Luxury

I’m sitting with Grace by the window in a treasure trove of sunlight and clouds–of white fur and pleather cubes, and a sapphire velvet chaise lounge draped with blue-flowered and animal-printed pillows and throws. Joni is spilling over both of us and I’m trying to figure out which of us—me, Grace, maybe even Joni–fashioned this little alcove. The question fills me with more pleasure than the morning already has. Which is a lot, actually.

It sounds ridiculous, suggesting my cat arranged fabrics and furniture to create this robin’s egg dreamscape by the window. Can’t you see her dragging everything in her cunning little teeth? But if she didn’t actively arrange this child’s dream turned inside out, she certainly inspired it with her perfectly composed paws, her caramel stripes and gleaming eyes. With how she absorbs and exudes beauty.

God I love her. I have zero idea how I’d do intuition work or anything else without her practicalmagic, anything without her reikitty paws-on healing.
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Solar Returned in the Mermaid Woods

Today I turn 49. I was born at 4:25 am, so naturally I woke at that exact time. As the moon still shone bright, I sat in the mermaid woods of the Outer Cape and breathed in the briney possibilities of a new year. What I hope to concretize and what I hope to create.

I thought about what I learned in my 40s, which was how to survive as a lone wolf–strong, strategic, resourceful, fierce, sometimes kind but never, ever nice.

And I thought about what I most want to learn in my 50s–which is how to thrive in beautiful collaborations. For even wolves roam in packs–a lesson that I overlooked until this wondrously challenging last year. It was a year I would not have survived without the clear heart of so many others.  My bank broke and you were there. My back broke and you were there. My heart broke and you were there. And because of this unflagging, gorgeously textured support, I did not just end up surviving. I ended up thriving–completing the goal of the girl whose story I was writing. Which is to say: I wrote a whole book, one I pray goes on to foster others as you have fostered me.

Marge Piercy writes:
Attention is love, what we must give
children, mothers, fathers, pets,
our friends, the news, the woes of others.
What we want to change we curse and then
pick up a tool. Bless whatever you can
with eyes and hands and tongue. If you
can’t bless it, get ready to make it new.

Today I celebrate the new. And I also bless you who helped me accomplish what I alone could never.

Thank you for granting me what my past did not: faith in others, not just in myself.

Love and light to all today. it’s what we need if we’re going to put this world back to rights. That’s my birthday sermon and that’s my birthday wish. Take it if you please.

Permissions Denied, Pigeons Assigned

Piccione, this morning you left your house without a bra?

This was yesterday, when everyone had begun drifting back from wherever people go when they leave NYC over the holidays. I was nursing an americano, waiting for some friends visiting from out of town.

For a full week, the coffee shop next door—the ones run by the wily Italians—had been closed. In fact, the whole neighborhood had been closed because all of the planet had been magically out of time.

I’d gotten a lot done.

But, I am sorry to report, my unconscious also had erected one last roadblock before this wretched, wonderful year could draw to a close.

This roadblock was a doozy.

It began a few days before Christmas, when my Macbook Pro’s operating system began devouring itself, which impacted everything connected to my Apple ID across all my devices, everything that required–and o the irony is rich if not sweet–permissions.

Essentially, I was being denied access to my own identity. At first I was only blocked from features that were convenient but unessential: Apple calendars, reminders, and notes that I accessed across all my devices. Then passwords stored in my iCloud keychain began to disappear, which is when I realized that all these years I’d thought I was being smart and responsible by using Apple-suggested passwords, I was really being stupid as a heart attack. Because these passwords were so complex that I had no way to resuscitate them using anything as pedestrian as, say, human memory. Continue Reading →

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