Archive | Essays

I Wish You Enough

Something occurred to me today as I strode home from the greenmarket with my produce and a bunch of glorious sunflowers that the vendor had slipped into my bag as a surprise.

“This might be enough.”

To be sure, “enough” is a relative term. As I write this, I still don’t have enough in my accounts to cover my expenses a few months out nor do I have a steady income flow. In this way, I am in step with many many Americans, as well as people across the world.

My therapist says that I have a tendency to focus on the bright side of matters in a way that borders on dissociative, a fact that may surprise those who read my last post.

Trust me when I say it takes a lot for me to acknowledge when things aren’t working well. In fact, it’s a muscle I’m developing in real time. I used to fear disappearing into the abyss if I recognized its existence. But I’ve come to accept we can only solve a problem when we can acknowledge it.

That said, having transcended so many hard times in my life has granted me an insouciance I never experienced as a younger woman. Yes, I am still broke as I write this, but over the last few days so many have shared sweet solidarity and unexpected donations that, for this week at least, I have fresh, healthy food to eat and, for this month at least, Grace and I have a place to live in a city I love. Continue Reading →

The Ultimate Fool’s Errand

Only once has someone broken up with me in a way that I immediately and completely accepted. Really, this was quite an achievement, because historically I date people off and on forever unless they reveal themselves to be complete sociopaths or get married. (Although my aversion to marriage is well-documented, I am not in the business of making third parties miserable.)

But though this beau was neither married nor a complete sociopath, his breakup line was so effective that we never spoke again once he uttered it. In a low, caressing voice he said: “It seems this is not what we had hoped.”

In point of fact, he was absolutely right. We’d been dating for four months, which is exactly how long it takes for sexual chemistry to wear off when there’s no other glue in place. I won’t bog you down with the details (he did too much coke and considered me too much of a prude) but as I write this I can assure you that, 20 years later, the only real memory I have of that relationship are those nine magic words. Continue Reading →

New Moon, Tough Titties

TOUGH-LOVE ASTRO PSA, EMPHASIS ON THE LOVE! As I write this, a new moon is rising. Though of course we cannot see it—a new moon is always invisible—we can feel it. And its gravity is, well, grave. Why? Because this moon in security-focused, homebody Cancer is opposing Saturn, who insists we collectively live with what we need rather than crave. Cue safeguards for all, and an economy of love that rejects all that does not serve our best selves.

Cornel West has famously pointed out that social justice is what love looks like in public—and a love movement is exactly what this new moon is forcing us to manifest. Witness the Mothers Against Police Brutality, whose Wall of Moms protects BLM activists from riot gear-clad federal bullies er officers. Witness the protesters themselves, who have bravely enacted profound positive shifts without endangering the public health compromised by heedless others. And witness those wearing masks in sweaty summer weather to protect everyone from the deleterious effects of Covid-19. Bottom line: Here on this particular new moon, I do not advise you to make wishes for your personal expansion. Instead, list three concrete ways you wish to contribute to the highest common good. Trust me when I say the new moon will grant those wishes—and those alone.

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