Matt Harrington: A Friend of Everyone’s Heart

My classmate Matthew Harrington died last week, and I keep thinking about him.

What I didn’t anticipate about aging was the pain of losing your peers—-the people with whom you move through this life without the complicated bonds of biology or romance. The co-witnesses whose casual presence you take for granted, at least until you get older.

I knew Matty best in elementary school–in sixth grade, really. Most kids are little punks at that age, and our class was an exceptionally unruly bunch–mean, to be honest. In the 1980s, Nonantum (our Newton, Massachusetts neighborhood, also known as the Lake) was still in the Middle Ages when it came to racism, anti-semitism, homophobia, you name it. But though Matt threw around as many jokes as the rest of the boys (RIP, Terry Notartomaso), he stood out to me because he was never unkind.

I remember him singing Beatles songs on every bus ride with a heartbreaking earnestness, craning around with a look of concern well beyond his years when I got teased for being Jewish or just plain weird. I don’t recall him well in high school—it was huge and we all splintered off–but I’ve been thinking about him ever since I heard the news of his passing. Because in my memory he stands out as someone committed to humor and fun that didn’t come at the expense of others–a boisterous guy who somehow was also very gently compassionate. You can’t say that about many people, especially tweens. He was like a character in the best Beatles song never written.

Decades later, when I’d see him at reunions–when it was absolutely apparent we had so little in common that even small talk might be difficult–he was still generous and curious. So I’ve been flashing on his sweet affability over the last few days; his matter-of-fact, un-mercenary kindness. Such qualities can make living in this world hard even if you never let on. I hope that wasn’t true for him.

May we tell everyone who shines light on us that we love them. And may Matt find joy wherever he is now. Sixth grade Lisa will always be grateful to him.

Donations can be made here to defray the costs of Matt’s funeral.

Virgo Season Begins, You’re Welcome

Virgo season began last night, and we should all be glad about that. This sign often gets dismissed as anal and controlling, even cheap, Really, Virgos are the truest healers of the zodiac and some of the most extraordinary and resourceful creatives. Virgos understand that Goddess is in the details and that love is a verb. Sure, sometimes they don’t see the forest for the trees but they actually get the job done, son. More than that, they know practical magic is rooted in working problems—in work, period–and that actions speak louder than words. So while I enjoy the pleasures and grand scale of Leo season—who doesn’t?—I am always grateful for Virgo’s diligence as summer draws to a close. Her ethos of mindful economy, of service privileged over credit, and of heart over ego is one our whole country needs. To be of good use is a tremendous honor, and Virgo reminds us of this joy.

Virgo Season always emphasizes personal callings and practical magic; to activate yours, book a reading for yourself or loved one through biolink. For personally tailored daily guidance, get your Whether Report. Pictured here: Gene Kelly, born on this day 111 years ago and a poster boy for hard-working genius.

Superstorm Full Moon!

It’s Superstorm Sunday—and I’m not just talking about the weather but also the astrology, AKA the “whether.” Early this morning we had a full moon in networking Aquarius—a sign ruled by shit-stirring Uranus. Opposing the Sun in treat-me-right Leo, this moon sashays with Jupiter, Mr. Amplification. Translation? Drama-drama-drama in social dynamics— especially when it comes to transactional behavior masquerading as simple support. Very “breakdown, breakthrough” vibes since last night. My advice? Unless you’re spoiling for a fight or feeling especially open to reckonings, avoid social contact except to send magical carrier pigeons bearing chocolate and whiskey. Tomorrow will be a lot calmer, as Virgo Season begins tonight and the moon enters all-is-one Pisces. But if you have to deal with other people today—well, as my Masshole grandma used to say: “Good luck to you and the Red Sox.”

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