As a Jewish witch, I don’t get that worked up about the gift-giving aspect of the challahdaze, as I like to call the winter holidays while rolling great buckets of phlegm from the back of my throat. (Take that, GOP!) Oh, I like the lights, the pine trees, the pageantry. I especially like all the unchecked love. But mostly I view this season as yet another effort of the Church and capitalistic structures to rain–er, snow–on pagan parades since the real star of December is the winter solstice.
If you consider the true messages of Jesus, who reportedly was born in the spring and of whom I am a lifelong fan, they have nothing to do with cumpulsory gift-giving. In fact, if you parse out his words, it’s clear the dude was an anti-materialist. A freaking socialist, really.
So I receive very few presents, which is fine because I give very few presents. Instead, I use this time of year as an opportunity to buy myself one item that I really need–something practical and well-crafted–because it makes me feel so very Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Oranges from Pa in the stocking, anyone?) Which is all to say: Meet my new beautiful tea kettle (left), the replacement of the Le Creuset I bought at the beginning of this tired teen decade (right).
Ain’t time tough?
It’s been a full lunar cycle since my love affair ended, and after our initial rupture we parted with more peace and kindness than I’ve experienced in any other breakup. I chalk this up to the fact that we were grownups when we found each other, and that it was mostly circumstances that pulled us part. Still, I miss her—voice, mouth, hands, pulse at her throat. Her extraordinary perception and reception.
I often copy out quotes I admire, not just to study them but as a postcard to a Lisa I may someday meet again. Today my computer opened to these words by Amy Bloom, a writer who has helped me understand that what I most crave is what the world tells us is nothing to know, let alone desire.
It’s been seventeen years since we were together and I can still smell her own scent, salt and cucumber. Under our breasts and in the creases, we smelled like fresh-baked bread in the mornings. We slept naked as babies, breasts and bellies rolling toward each other, our legs entwined like climbing roses. We used to say, we’re not beauties, because it was impossible to tell the truth. In bed, we were beauties. We were goddesses. We were the little girls we’d never been: loved, saucy, delighted, and delightful.
The first thing I knew in this world was that I was alone and unseen. Then I knew I was not. You are not just my port in the storm, which is what middle-aged women are supposed to be looking for. You are the dark and sparkling sea and the salt, drying tight on my skin, under a bright, bleaching sun. You are the school of minnows we walk through. You are the small fishing boat, the prow so faded you can hardly tell it’s blue. You are the violet skies, rain spattering the sand until it’s almost mud, and you are the light to come.
I don’t believe in coincidences, but even now I believe in love. The ache comes all at once, a rush of want and wonder, and it subsides slower, nothing like the sea.
Vintage 1960s photographs, artist unknown.
I write from a neighborhood bar that has a great and relatively quiet happy hour. Drinking sazerac, mawing nuts, rereading the day’s pages, and listening to a man my age mack on a girl who at the very oldest is 25. I’d judge the shit out of him except when I walked in, he raised his eyebrows suggestively and I shook my head. Also the last person I snogged was half my age, which made them roughly 25 (ok, younger). If this paragraph didn’t land where you expected, welcome to my 2019.
Then again, time is a construct.
Earlier today NYC was a storybook—-kids bobbing on parents’ shoulders, everyone bundled like toddlers in mittens and hats, and snow, glorious snow. But by midday it was back to bleak, urine-drenched, and sooty. Enter free-wheeling Sagittarius season and tonight’s full moon in Gemini. Both aspects remind us to be here now since linear time is big old myth and nothing else is real either save the story you tell yourself. And love, the greatest gravity of all.
I don’t know about you but I’m feeling that inside and out. Even on television, at least Watchmen, the most momentous show anywhere right now (see what I did there?), the notion of linear time is being savagely imploded.
Fourth dimension is, like, so twenty-teens.
Taking place in the earliest hours of tomorrow–that’s 12/12 at exactly 12:12 am!–tonight’s “long cold night full moon” also exits us out of a cycle of karma since the number 12 is all about reincarnation. Ask yourself: What hard lessons have I begun learning this year that I can finally put to use? Venus, Saturn, and Pluto are conjuncting, which suggests the lessons may be taking place in our relationships and finances. Certainly that was true for me, though ain’t that always the case? Bottom line: we are moving past the limited thinking that we were taught kept us safe but really has held us back. Don’t be scared. Be glad–and dress warmly.