Archive | City Matters

The Lanterns of Others

As you know, last month for my birthday I revisited the Mermaid Woods–what I call the Outer Cape, my perfect place, the region where I finally want to own a home. While I was there I stopped by Atlantic Spice Company, a kitchen and condiment supply store in Truro, Mass, my favorite oceanside town. I bought hot pepper salt for myself and B, licorice-mint tea in bulk for my Ruby Intuition clients, and pretty little pot covers in Oshun and Yemaya colors (sunflower and oceanic blue). In short, it was a magical shopping expedition, but that’s not even the best part of the story. The best part is that while I was ogling hand creams made from organic local herbs, I started speaking with a woman with the most beautiful white hair. I always initiate conversations with women with beautiful white hair because I’m preparing for the day that my head is all salt and no pepper, and I welcome advice from women who’ve already walked that path. This woman was lovely–funny and warm-and we traded details of what had brought us to this magical store in that magical moment. I offered her my birthday good wind–I always do that on my birthday–and in return the white-haired woman said she made hand creams of her own. “I live in Upstate New York, and I make a potion of local beeswax and lavender. Give me your address and I’ll send you a jar.” I gave it to her and as I did, I said, “I want you to know I’ll remember you fondly even if you throw my address away as soon as we part ways.” I meant it, too. She’d made me feel so good in our conversation about getting more radiant and true as we age.

Well. You know how this story goes. I came home Monday from a sad few days in Pennsylvania, and sitting pretty in my mailbox along with ugly bills and an uglier note from my landlord was a jar of lavender-beeswax lotion from this beautiful white-haired mermaid. People shine so much light when you least expect it. And it really brings home what I was feeling the Saturday before I’d left town. I’d spent the whole morning doing errands in my neighborhood and saying hello to everyone doing the same. In the middle of jokes exchanged at the farmers market, I’d remembered my favorite human truth: There are no strangers, only cousins you’ve not yet met.

I’m So Sorry, Dolores

When I woke this morning, all I wanted to hear was the sweet sadness of Dolores O’Riordan, whom I listened to every day during the sweetest saddest period of my young womanhood and who died yesterday, only days before my 47th birthday, which really is the death knoll for any young womanhood no matter how well your people age (and mine age pretty well, dammit). When I listened most to Dolores and her Cranberries I was living with a man who took care of me but did not love me and whom I did not love. We had been performing a twentysomething fascimile of an old married couple and, really, it had been draining both of our life forces. We were just scared of everything else, especially of who we really were. Him: gladly, glamorously superficial. Me: a witch, not meant for anything but what I could conjure from the ashes of purple violets and patriarchy. Continue Reading →

The House of Sunshine Compensation

Today is what they’re calling a bomb cyclone–a hurricane-cum-snow and ice storm made possible by our brand new climate. Outside the heavens rage, but I did my due diligence and am prepared for their wrath. Bagels and cat food sit pretty on the counter, produce and protein line the refrigerator, house is scrubbed clean. I have books and notebooks and candles stacked by my armchair, whiskey and a tumbler by the turntable, a kitten at my feet. But it’s into the kitchen that I putter as the world blurs white and lights flash off and on.

I may be old-fashioned, but I prefer my kitchen to be devoid of electricity anyway. I keep the lights off during the day, and eschew unnecessary gadgets, including toasters, food processors, and juicers. Eating and cooking is one way we still connect to the cycle of life, and I like to feel all the unadulterated core elements- earth, sun, water, fire–as I step into that flow. This morning the world is furious, and I am glad to know. I squeeze sunshine into a glass and dream of warmer days.

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