Monday, August 8, 2016

Your Horoscope and the International Space Station

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Several years ago, I was invited to a "women's circle," so I went.  A handful of women were there (I suppose you guessed that, tho...), talking about manifesting good things.  I don't really believe in the whole "manifest" strategy, but what do I know.  Maybe it's self-fulfilling, which in a weird way, proves that it works.  But anyway, back to the circle.  One woman said she was trying to strengthen her manifesting skills, so she set out to manifest a penny.  She walked all over town, looking and looking.  She got to the end of her normal walk and nothing.  She wasn't sure what that meant, so she went on an even longer walk, and eventually found a quarter.  She was overjoyed at her 25 X manifestation, and I couldn't help but be happy for her.  But I remain foggy on the difference between looking for something, trying, working until you get it, and manifesting it.  Either way, Pisces, make something good of your week, even if you have to wrestle it out of nothingness.

May it be so.
Aries (3/21 - 4/19):   Speaking of coins, I heard a story on the radio about a man who picked up every coin he found, taped it to an index card, jotted a few notes down about it, and put it in a bag.  Each time his daughter visited, he would hand her the bag full of coins and thoughts.  The accompanying notes were mundane for the first few years ("Found on the floor of a hotel lobby.") Eventually, the notes became poetic ("Found these two, heads up, arguing with each other, but I put them in separate pockets and that stopped 'em.")  What a cool idea, I thought.  Maybe I could use coins I find as a writing prompt.  (Don't think too hard about that.  I know.  If the only thing I have to write about is the nickel I found at the gas station.... It makes me think that lady I saw on my way into the memoir class I took was right.)  But I digress.  The point is, Cancer, that there aren't many coins to be found.  Remember when people paid with cash, and pennies and nickels were dropping all over the place from leaky pockets?  Yeah, look around.  The streets used to be lined with copper, but not so much anymore.  Finding pennies may be on the list of endangered things, like that sound of a fax machine connecting.  Aries, see if you can notice those things that are disappearing, like summer and the breath that you took a second ago, and relish without clutching.  

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Taurus, between the time I wrote the Pisces horoscope and this moment, which was about 2 hours, I said to one of my loved ones how much I like to sneeze.  I guess because it's something that happens that you really have no control over, It shakes things up and is kind of exciting, and I've come to look forward to it. (Don't think too hard about that either.)  And 20 minutes after I said that, guess what?  I sneezed three times, totally out of the blue.  There wasn't a cold or dust in sight, so I'm left to consider the possibility that I totally manifested that sneeze.   I'm going to try for a new car next.  Give it a shot, Taurus!

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21): A few weeks ago, I was standing outside with a lovely group of friends, and we were looking up at the very dark starry sky, when someone pointed and said, "there's the international space station."  Everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed, except for me, because I'm so skeptical.  How could someone look up at all the stuff orbiting out there and know it's the space station?  There are 2,200 satellites circling the earth -- how does one guy know it's the space station?  So I was quiet while everyone cheered and waved.  But the next day, I looked it up on the internet, and sure enough, it was the ISS.  There's a website that tells you when you'll be able to see it going over, and suddenly, I've gotten obsessed.  Just like that.  See what you can come up with to be fascinated by, Gemini.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21): Why do I care about the ISS?  Here's why.  Besides the sheer terror of imagining leaving this planet, there's this:  six people out in space, circling around, over and over, every 92 minutes. A cross between terrifying (because you're out in space), and boring (because you're out in space), hurtling along at 17,000 mph, with nothing to do in your free time but look out the window.  Stuck with the same people for a year.  I'm fascinated with that kind of social experiment, like the guy who spent all that time in a cave, Biosphere II, or solitary confinement.  Once I start thinking about this stuff, I can't really stop, which adds to the fascination.  If I can get stuck thinking about one thing, even with all of this external stimulation going on, imagine the brain in isolation.  Oy.  Don't do it, Cancer.  If you get invited to the ISS, JUST SAY NO!

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I've been trying to research the international space station, which sounds easy, because duh, the world wide web and all.  But what I'm curious about is the humans -- how they manage, how they struggle, what changes.  I found a bunch of podcasts, but they were all about the science, like the SMiLE (Spun Microgravity Liquid Experiment) mission.  I wanted to hear something other than the standard, "From space, our planet looks so beautiful and vulnerable."  I found one that promised a live interview with an astronaut who had been on three space missions.  Jackpot, I thought.  But guess what, Leo?  In one of those earworm solutions, where you get one song out of your head by exposing yourself to an equally catchy song, replacing the original, I've moved a bit off the space station and onto this guy.  Because the lens he views the world through is the rolex watch.  He interviews this guy who's spent a bunch of time in space, and the interview is all questions about his watch.  OMG.  

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22):  I was sitting at the river with one of my loved ones yesterday, talking about life, and in that weird moment when life imitates your own existential crisis, we watched a dog swim out for a stick, over and over.  It took us about a million times of watching the same routine for us to notice that the dog was acting out our conversation. The scenario: the dog is consumed with longing.  All he can think about is getting his human to throw the stick.  The man throws the stick, and Fido, in a fleeting moment of joy, swims out for it.  Life is perfect.  The river, the stick, swimming strongly towards it.  Then, he grabs the stick and swims back, but by now, the void has returned.  All he can think about is getting his human to throw the stick.  The other thing that happened sometimes is that the river carried the stick downstream, the way rivers do, and while Stick was bobbing merrily towards Everett, Fido swam in tiny circles, looking anxiously in the same spot for what was not to be found there, confused.  Our phylum, Leo.  Sigh.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22):  Most days, I sit in a coffee shop and work for a while.  There's a group of regulars, mostly grouchy old men who drink coffee, tease each other, and generally shoot the shit.  I don't talk much to anyone, but I like being around people. Even from the outer edge, I feel like I'm part of something beside my own solo life. When I was growing up, my dad went to a drugstore with a soda fountain every morning before work.  It was way before cell phones, and he had his calls forwarded to the drugstore for that half hour or so when he sat and joked around with other men before work started. My six year old self thought that was the coolest thing ever. Starting the day by laughing with other people.  See what you can come up with, Libra.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  I was in the grocery store the other day, on my way home from a long wisdom-teeth odyssey, buying soft food for the patient.  I'm in there most days, and I don't think I'm very predictable, but the clerk commented that I was off my routine. Anyway, I explained about the wisdom teeth, and without missing a beat, she said, "Wisdom teeth, yeah.  I don't think my husband had any.  But his brother, he had five or six."  The humans, Scorpio, are endlessly fascinating.

In one of my favorite
Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): And just like that, poof, my favorite son and Sag moved to another timezone, another phase of life, a red state where the water drains to the Atlantic.  I will miss him like an arm, but I'm unbearably proud of the fine person he's become.  Namaste, R.

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19):   I read an article the other day that said friendship is only mutual 53% of the time.  Meaning that roughly half of the people any of us call good friends wouldn't say the same about us.  I mentioned this to someone, and she said, "yeah, that happens to me all the time.  Everyone thinks I'm their friend, but it's not mutual." Which was a hilarious and ironic display of both the phenomenon and a big ego.  It was the opposite way that I went with it (I often think I'm good friends with someone, but turns out to be woefully one-sided.)  But the point is that no one is on always on one side of this equation. I liked what the guy, Dr. Banks, said about friendship:
In the presence of a true friend, Dr. Banks said, the smart or modulating aspect of the vagus nerve is what makes us feel at ease rather than on guard as when we are with a stranger or someone judgmental. It’s what enables us to feel O.K. about exposing the soft underbelly of our psyche and helps us stay engaged and present in times of conflict. Lacking authentic friendships, the smart vagus nerve is not exercised. It loses tone and one’s anxiety remains high, making abiding, deep connections difficult.
 Exercise the vagus nerve this week, Cap.  May your wishes come true.

Aquarius (1/20-2/18):  One of my buddies takes a walk every day with someone who had
My soon to be retired field vest.
Thank you for your service, little
to cancel one day recently due to a spider bite.  He reported this to me, saying he would be watching her to see if super powers develop.  As we talked, though, I started to wonder if denial is a super power.  Maybe it's not the worst thing.  Maybe thinking your friends are your friends, whether its mutual or not, thinking good things are about to happen, your loved ones love you too, the diagnosis won't be so bad, you'll be able to breathe and laugh through whatever comes.  Even if it might not be objectively true, is it such a bad way to live?  


  1. Beautiful as always. I'm a Libra so I especially like that one!

  2. So are you retiring, too, or just your field vest? And I feel your pain on the son leaving. Mine is not as far away but I still miss him.

    You have given me something to think about. On the one hand, I agree with that beautifully written quote that authentic friendships are signalled by how much we feel comfortable exposing ourselves. On the other hand, I also agree that we are happier and saner if we don't assume the worst about everything, including whether people are true friends or not. This has implications for stuff I'm thinking about right now. Ouch. My head hurts :)

    1. Is that really another hand, Jennio? Maybe it's the same hand! :-)

  3. As usual you are right about the human condition and the wonderment of it all. A good friend will help you move and a true friend will help you move a body. If you are my friend it is always reciprocal. Really.

    1. If we're friends, Jono, will I be expected to move bodies? Just once in a while, or is that a routine thing? Just checking.... :-)

  4. Maybe because I went to nursing school, when I hear the word "manifest" I think of it in the sense of manifesting symptoms.
    I don't think this is something I want to do.
    When I was a child and testing out magic as children do, I might have done that manifesting experiment but a penny was worth something then.

    1. Yeah, there's something weird about that word. I think of the list of passengers on the Titanic when I hear that word...

  5. So enjoyed your post, they always make me laugh. Moving one time zone isn't bad, and we're not all red who live in a red state, our daughter moved to a different day---that's been fun coordinating

    1. Thank you! Wow, a different day. That is confusing!

  6. Denial IS a super power, of course!

    You did, you did, you manifested sneezes (shiver). A new car might be a bit harder to conjure up. Let me know how it works out.

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