Mercury went retrograde today, and immediately I went off-plan. All set for a quiet night with a fillet of trout and a certain permakitten, I was invited last-minute to the sumptuous Lilia Ristorante and–well, mama didn’t raise no fool.
As we were mawing mint artichokes, my companion said, “Isn’t Mercury always in retrograde?” and I replied that though technically the planet of modernity (communication, travel, multitasking) only goes retrograde every three months, it happens a lot to force us to unplug. In other words, when it starts moving backward, it’s kairos, or soul time, rather than chronos, or linear time.
The usual caveats apply–namely, back everything up and don’t stay attached to business as usual. Also keep cold hard cash around; banks and digital resources may get especially funked up . Since this retrograde is happening mostly in the sign of Cancer during an eclipse season that’s bopping between Cancer and Capricorn (the mom and dad of the zodiac, respectively), the big issue on the table is protection and nurturing–how do we take care of ourselves and others, how can we do better? I’m not talking “radical self-care,” an eye-roller of a term if ever there were one. I’m talking about investing in the crucial collaborations of our lives–releasing past traumas that block us from being fully present with others, embracing present alliances that can transform us into future champions. No one is pretending this month will be status quo, but so long as you take it slow, its long-term effect should be fabulous. Just remember to–wait for it!–go with the flow.
You can tell I’m at an impasse with my book because
I’m writing to you my cooking and colors have gotten downright baroque, especially while I’m upstate, where the greens are so fresh they’re muddy. Any drive I take entails my pulling off the road to fetch fresh eggs and sun-warmed strawberries from a farmstand, treasures like a chartreuse tee and sky-blue bowl from a yard sale. So, uh, dinner tonight? What I call salad pasta–a bowl of penne and fresh herb pesto topped with peppery greens dressed with horseradish and ginger vinegar and chopped in with mint, chives, parsley, garlic scapes, strawberries (why not?) and, oy vey ist mir, smoked trout. It was pretty good but then again only strong flavors are registering to my still-sinusy sinuses. Ah, and my costume? The lady wore green–a kelly-green shawl K ferried back from his overseas adventure wrapped around a lime sarong from a street fair. As I said: baroque. But that’s the beauty of living and working alone. If you’re lucky, you can tailor to your exact specifications, which matter even when they don’t because attention is love, and love is how we grow. Really, it’s the only way.
*and other lost Erma Bombeck titles.