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On endless purification, and maybe also on the small satisfying cleaning bursts and urge to paint the door and baseboards:

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): To truly come clean is to lift up the carpets and sweep away all that's accumulated underneath, to take everything from the cabinets and scour 'em down, and to dust out cobwebs from the deepest corners. A comprehensive airing-out, Gemini, is how you'll reacquaint yourself with what's actually there, what's been allowed to build up, and what must be disposed us to help you sleep better at night. Anything less thorough, though possibly 'more convenient' (and almost certainly less upsetting to all parties who stand to lose an illusion from such an accurate inventorying), brings the remnants of your old life along with you to the next chapter, to replicate eerie reruns like an indestructible virus. Despite the melodrama in these descriptions, however, this effort is quite personally beneficial to you—and I'm not just talking in the abstract 'someday my prince will come' sense (though the most glamorous results could still be months away). Immediately upon clutching the scrub-brush and/or dumping the bags of garbage at the curb, you will feel potent… not just in your relation to a certain someone, but in your stance toward the world at large, unafraid of confronting any-sized trash heap.
(from astrobarry)

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Again at the altar crying as I wrap the tefillin straps tight? My mama once told me never to let somebody tie a rope around my neck, and silly me I took it literally.

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The new moon makes me permeable and weepy, even on T, last night spent on the verge of tears even hours after a good kitchen-table talk with my bro about long-held character misgivings etc re: T., the times he had that other boy over while I was away and how it weirded my brother out, the context, the superficiality, the way he apparently "looks just like you, well, you know," another small dark-haired tranny with sturdy hips I guess, what do I know. I dragged myself to the gym to break the post-bus hit-by-a-truck feeling before a couple hours of work at MaxCaffe over milky black tea. Then cos all I wanted was to smoke cigarettes I treated myself to veggie bun xao noodles from Saga (another trigger, where Daddy used to buy us food, credit cards I can't remember and probably maxed out anyway still on file) for dinner instead and bought a cheap bottle of Camenere from Harlem Vintage. Le souci de soi, and this morning:

-modeh ani when I wake up gray outside ready to cry
-wiping down the baseboards
-oatstraw infusion in the washed-out jar from the preserved lemons, switched to the scrubbed-out jar from last solstice's sourdough starter
-tefillin, feeding the dove, a kala I need more of
-to the gym! deadlifts to Gillian's harrow and harvest
-picking up my tailored hand-me-down diesels, the winter coat I never dry-cleaned til now
-seeing Sebastian in for his stay
etc etc etc, this is life now. Today I have to present in BioLogix on a paper I haven't really written yet, but luckily I'm retooling an essay I worked on before so I should be able to turn it out without getting tweaked; I really am trying to do it without pills now, for this paper at least.

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Today as Shabbos was ending we visited my grandmother, my dad's mom down in Warminster, framed photos filling the surprisingly-cozy apartment and piano-top, rooster tchotchkes and blue glassware and a whole hook/rack devoted to outlandish red hats, feather boas and purple accents galore. When we got there she fixed me a drink, some good (cheap?) vodka called Pravda on the rocks with a jalapeno-stuffed olive, said, "You need this, after what you've been through" which felt like the perfect grandmotherly medicine, acknowledgment and tonic.

She brought us mixed nuts in little glass dishes, showed off her surprisingly-good $14 wig from a catalogue and the others in rotation, and told us great if likely confabulated family stories as the sun set hot pink and smoky indigo over the parking lot outside. Then she kicked us out cos she had to go to dinner with her UpWords club friends or something, promise of a visit up to the city soon, maybe for the opera.

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Wow, Astrobarry strikes again:
The subsequent lunar eclipse in Gemini two weeks later (on Dec 10, while Mercury's still retrograde) also clashes with Mars in Virgo (who, by that point, will be in trine to Venus in Capricorn). This tells us we'll probably still be struggling to recapture the dangling details and integrate the whirling dynamism into our daily goings-on. This later full-moon eclipse goads us to come to emotional terms with whatever still-partly-open doors must necessarily be closed completely, as a side-effect of advancing through the new door up ahead. Certain logistical questions will need to be addressed, the process of which may make the changing circumstances finally seem real for the first time. Give your feelings some space to flip-flop between grief from the past and enthusiasm for the future. It's only natural.

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Sometimes ipod divination happens so well by accident; I feel compelled to share what mine whipped up from the otherworld this morning on the train:

Neil Young, 'From Hank to Hendrix'
The Smiths, 'I Know It's Over'
Otis Redding, 'I've Been Loving You Too Long'
Patti Smith, 'Midnight Rider'
Nina Simone, 'Try a Little Tenderness'
Ellen James Society, 'Tiger (By The Tail)'
Indigo Girls, 'Yoke'
Cat Power, 'Good Woman'

I'm a little snorkely but I trust in acupuncture and andrographis to do their thing. I really really wanted to play hooky from school today but it is our last real seminar before paper presentations so my sense of duty- plus some coaxing from Shannan- won out. I should be delving back into Berlant's Cruel Optimism right now with the sun pouring through the dirty train window so whee, heche las ganas!

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God's Work

Moonlight in the kitchen is a sign of God.
The kind of sadness that is a black suction pipe extracting you
from your own navel and which the Buddhists call

"no mindcover" is a sign of God.
The blind alleys that run alongside human conversation
like lashes are a sign of God.

God's own calmness is a sign of God.
The surprisingly cold smell of potatoes or money.
Solid pieces of silence.

From these diverse signs you can see
how much work remains to do.
Put away your sadness, it is a mantle of work.

(----anne carson)
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GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Though part of you may be wishing to dig a hole in the ground and burrow yourself into it until this too has passed, please allow me to suggest saving that strategy for some future week when you actually need it that much more. My alternate recommendation for you, Gemini, is one or more gut-wrenching, vulnerability-exposing, heart-to-heart encounters with a very close friend or anyone you can sincerely express your feelings to. The pleasant influence of Venus and Mercury in your 7th points to your ability to actually get stuff off your chest… not exactly to 'fix' whatever situation could be causing you private unrest, but to experience the passing sense of relief that comes with speaking the truth aloud. Realistically, nothing's going to be 'fixed' overnight, if in fact it requires 'fixing' at all. This is a process which is due to unfold bit by bit over an expanse of several months. That's why, at particular moments when there is some favorable interpersonal astrology helping you out, you've got to use the opportunities it provides to your advantage. Connect with someone you know well, and let your turgid thoughts pour out.

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I'm drinking dark rum on the rocks with grenadine and lemon, missing the lime, greasing up my leather
this is something like le souci de soi, I hope.


Oct. 25th, 2011 10:54 pm
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That's right:

I took it down!

It took me so long to admit that I like this song so now I'm wanna (almost-shamelessly) subject you to it too.
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Water! Out from between two crouching masses of the world the word leapt.

It was raining on his face. He forgot for a moment that he was a brokenheart
then he remembered. Sick lurch
downward to Geryon trapped in his own bad apple. Each morning a shock
to return to the cut soul.
Pulling himself onto the edge of the bed he stared at the dull amplitude of rain.
Buckets of water sloshed from sky
to roof to eave to windowsill. He watched it hit his feet and puddle on the floor.
He could hear bits of human voice
streaming down the drainpipe---I believe in being gracious---
He slammed the window shut.
Below in the living room everything was motionless. Drapes closed, chairs asleep.
Huge wads of silence stuffed the air.
He was staring around for the dog then realized they hadn't had a dog for years. Clock
in the kitchen said quarter to six.
He stood looking at it, willing himself not to blink until the big hand bumped over
to the next minute. Years passed
as his eyes ran water and a thousand ideas jumped his brain---If the world
ends now I am free
If the world ends now no one will see my autobiography--- finally it bumped.
He had a flash of Herakles' sleeping house
and put that away. Got out the coffee can, turned on the tap and started to cry.
Outside the natural world was enjoying
a moment of total strength. Wind rushed over the ground like a sea and battered up
into the corners of the buildings,
garbage cans went dashing down the alley after their souls.
Giant ribs of rain shifted
open on a flash of light and cracked together again, making the kitchen clock
bump crazily. Somewhere a door slammed.
Leaves tore past the window. Weak as a fly Geryon crouched against the sink
with his fist in his mouth
and his wings trailing over the drainboard. Rain lashing the kitchen window
sent another phrase
of Herakles' chasing across his mind. A photograph is just a bunch of light
hitting a plate.
Geryon wiped his face
with his wings and went out to the living room to look for the camera.
When he stepped onto the back porch
rain was funnelling down off the roof in a morning as dark as night.
He had the camera wrapped
in a sweatshirt. The photograph is titled "If He Sleep He Shall Do Well."
It shows a fly floating in a pail of water---
drowned but with a strange agitation of light around the wings. Geryon used
a fifteen-minute exposure.
When he first opened the shutter the fly seemed to be still alive.
(---------anne carson, autobiography of red)


Aug. 29th, 2011 09:15 pm
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Useless, mouth against mouth,
lips moving in these desperate
attempts at speech,
rescuer bending over the drowned body
trying to put back the breath, the soul.

When did we lose each other?
These twilight caverns are endless,

you are ahead,
flicker of white, you guide

and elude, I follow you,
hand on damp stone wall, feet
in the chill pools, overhead the weak voices

flutter, words we never said,

our unborn children

(-----margaret atwood)
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From my horoscope this week:
To claim what's deservedly yours, out of a convoluted situation in which certain other parties may contest who should get what, will likely require a fighting spirit. If you're indeed on the merciful side of this battle (and of course I presume you are), you mustn't back down—despite any dastardly threats the other side would lob at you. They will try to win by keeping you excessively focused on how you're indebted to them or otherwise inextricably stuck in this muddy arrangement. As long as you feel ashamed of yourself for past missteps or transgressions, they've got you where they want you. But once you're willing to proudly speak out from the humane perspective of needing to independently survive, the past loses much of its power over you… and you have a much better chance to triumph.

Um damn. And, also, Mars in Cancer and some kind of Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square, meaning: 1) need even more discernment than usual in how we act on others' emotions/on their behalf, and 2) lots of potential for heatedness, power struggles, and attendant attention to consequences.
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Definitely, finally praying and practicing helped. But my little evening walk with Critter just let it all soak in and snap into place: the golden summer light, my new-to-me gay neighbor on 122nd so handsome he makes me blush, dog conversations on the stoop (Critter eating fortune cookie crumbs from underneath Mac's chair and Mac saying something like, "Critter wants to hang out here with the men but he can't cos he don't have no nuts!"), picking stinging nettle from the weed-patch fence near the garden (my neighbor Mac again, asking do I know what this is and am I gonna eat it?) I do love living someplace where I can walk around with a weed in my hand and people wanna know if it's dandelion or turnip greens or what and am I gonna cook it. I put it on my altar instead, this towering spindly nettle. I'm glad I don't look a total mess in my (T's) SO.DO.MY shirt and green shorts but I should remember to put a little something on it now that I've got this hot neighbor! We dog-talked cos he's got a dog and I recounted Critter's slutty adventures in the dog park. "He had a real power-bottom morning," I said. "Sounds good to me," new neighbor said, smiling up at me from his crouch on the ground, screwing nails into wood planks.

And now, I need some yoga, and a hyssop bath, and to decide whether or not to go out tonight.
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will + surrender, surrender + will:
make it plain.
I think sometimes the key is to tell G-d the necessary outlines of what you want and then turn it over to Her.
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Tisha B'Av was appropriately hard, feeling what I could through the fast of brokenness, shattering, all the ways we destroy the mishkan, or fail to re-build it. Mama and Daddy-o came up cos Bro's having a hard time; they all went home together. I was torn but I'm glad I stayed, because I went to go learn and break the fast with my rabbi and Romemu people. We learned about the teaching that the moshiach is born on Tisha B'Av, born on Tisha B'Av that is, not come, not arrived. Redemption crowning, but not come, our job to give moshiach a good upbringing. We learned, drawing from some wordplay on three rivers mentioned in the Book of Daniel that I wish I could remember, about the possibility of redemption being founded on that river 'maybe,' an incapacity to be content with what was once good enough and set sail on that maybe. We learned more about what translates in Devarim as "turn and go up," or "turn and face it"--- all this stuff so freakishly relevant. 7 weeks-- another sefirah-- between now and Rosh Hashanah. My rabbi talked about the temple not as the literal structure, but as the Earth, the Shekhinah, "the divine mother herself in the trees, in the ocean, in the eyes [of someone reaching out]..." Uch, it was so good. I was still feeling pretty heavy and sad even with the break-fast so I sat down without the energy to fake it, and this beautiful lithe bright-eyed girl came right over to sit by me. She was awesome, and her friend was awesome, and we sat next door at my favorite Cafe Viva with the gorgeous counterboy who flashed his green-eyed grin my way and gave me free food (next time, next time-- it wasn't quite the right time to put out another line.)

And oh, did I forget one of the best parts, my rabbi saying goodbye by calling me "sweetie" in the most loving-kind way and us pulling each other into a good solid hug?

There is lots of pain on this precipice right now but there is tons of love too if I just remember to plug in.
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I'm not saying consumer capitalism is the way to go, I'm just saying that
one on-sale pink Ben Sherman shirt
one ounce frankincense
one ounce hyssop
might just go a long way


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