It’s a sleety Sunday in Month 11,202,112,394,493 in the Pandemic, and I am feeling wildly grateful. I wanted to share this because I’ve been plenty open about my struggles over the last few months. So I’ll start with this image of me, noteworthy not only for the big cheesy grin but because I am—wait for it—sitting. You may ask: What’s the big deal about sitting? Indeed, it’s a valid question since all anyone has done for a year is sit. But in fact as readers of this blog may know, my lower back went out so badly last November that I lost my ability to sit. I could write a whole book on the back now, especially about the psychic information locked in its psoas muscle, which I tore and which has supported us long before we relied upon our brains to protect us.
But today I’d just like to thank you.
I am grateful for your patience while I have been unable to do readings. I am grateful for the massive support that you showed me while my own back could not. I am grateful for your herbal tinctures and Chinese medicine and amazing teas and coffees and lipsticks (which, yes, I consider essential) and Tilda Swinton tee shirts (also essential) and Seamless meals and referrals and chore porn and sympathetic ears and advice and referrals and books and gelt and good wishes and vibes. I am grateful for the pod-friends who have cleaned my house and fed Grace and done my laundry and brought me groceries and even changed Gracie’s litter and my sheets.
I am not 100 percent yet but well enough to re-open my schedule and so excited to tune in again on your behalf. Expect some changes as I’ve learned a lot about how better to support your intuition and healing as I’ve expanded my own. More than that, expect a new level of solidarity. It’s finally a new year and I’m so grateful to be able to walk into its light with you.
It’s 740pm and I’m calling it. The electricity went out in the early hours of this morning after the big storm, and it never got fixed so my apartment is unheated unlit un-networked. A part of me–the part that obsessively reread Little House in the Big Woods (and not just as a child)–appreciates the challenge of being stripped of power. Of laying blankets over everything and setting up candles and heating water over my stove, which still works with a match. But as night has fallen, an unaccustomed darkness has blanketed my neighborhood and it is eerily silent. The outage stems from a manhole fire four blocks over and so my entire region of East Williamsburg is un-juiced. It’s like the 2003 blackout or the 2012 hurricane–only for my tiny little corner of Brooklyn. There’s no coffee shop noise, no infuriating neighbor music or loud Zoom calls hurtling through the walls. No blather on the street. No streetlights. Not even any running cars since they’ve blocked off the streets (and there are no traffic lights). There’s just the drills of Con Ed guys outside my window, grinding grinding like gritted teeth.
I know these guys are trying their best–have been since before dawn–and that so far they simply can’t locate the electrical short to fix. I know because I brought them mugs of my Laura Ingalls Wilder coffee earlier and peppered them with questions. So it’s like camping—only in a subfreezing night in which Covid keeps us from cowering together.
I keep thinking about what this corner of land was like 10 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago. I keep thinking about that last chapter of Cloud Atlas, when the grid and governments crashed and everyone in the future was living prehistorically and no one had record of prior generations because they had been uploaded to the cloud which disappeared with the electrical grid. And I keep thinking: Is this how dystopias really happen? Step by step, so that we adjust so incrementally to the degeneration that one day it seems perfectly natural that we can’t leave our houses without masks lest we infect each other with a deadly plague that has already killed 500,000 of us, perfectly natural that we’re stumbling around in the unheated unlit un-networked dark, perfectly natural that hot regions are freezing and polar caps are melting, perfectly natural that there’s mass shootings every month, perfectly natural that we have elected officials who casually uphold white patriarchal supremacy and insist Jews use space lasers to fuck up a coastal state and . Don’t answer that. Really, don’t. I know I’m being catastrophic but it’s been that kind of day week (retrograde). The point is: There’s a fur hat on my head, a fur blanket on my bed, a fur permakitten in my arms. And I’m going to bed. Scarlet O’Hara always said I”ll worry about it tomorrow. Tonight I’m taking a page from her book.
Note: My power was out for 48 hours. When it came back on, I posted what I’d written to comfort myself.
Woof! I spent the last 36 hours in tech hell and framily heaven. First I dropped my Airpods in the bathtub, and managed to recover them only through the magic of a Youtube tutorial and my hairdryer. Then my Macbook completely died–and lest this passive voice seem suspicious, trust me when I say a jar of dill pickles sailed out of a cabinet and landed on said Macbook with the might of a thousand dybbuks. With it died 11 months of writing because I hadn’t been properly backing up since Covid began.
Note that I’m not defending my sloppiness; merely reporting it with no small measure of chagrin.
But as frustrating as the breakdown of my devices has been, things could be so much worse. I am beyond lucky to have such lovely, generous, patient friends willing to share their amazing range of skills and savvy and resources with me, and I am grateful for this reminder. Not to mention: This kerfuffle comes right on time because Mercury retrograde begins tomorrow, enforcing the break we all need from our 11-month reliance on tech since it is taking place in Aquarius, which rules technology and networking.
Retrogrades tend to be most disruptive at their beginnings and ends, so over the next two days and from February 19-21, all things transportation and telecommunication may get especially fritzy. The good news? This forced reboot will also reboot our overtaxed, completely traumatized central nervous systems.
So why not lean in? Yes: it’s extremely annoying that our phones, tablets, computers, wifi and cable connections, and social media will likely go on the fritz over the next three weeks. But during this time, give yourself permission to unplug as much as you want. “Just say no” to Zoom. Sketch. Make music. Go for walks. And nap whenever you wish.
When we let them, Mercury Retrogrades enable us to more deeply connect with ourselves and each other. As my man Obi-Wan is wont to say: Trust the Force, Luke.