Saturday, October 14, 2023


Horoscopes: The Babies Are Coming Edition

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):   It turns out I've run out of excuses to not write horoscopes.  The pandemic, coronamalaise, blah blah blah.  In the meantime, while I wasn't writing horoscopes, I also wasn't writing a book.  I tried though! It was supposed to be a story about a woman living alone with her dog in a pandemic.  Lotta world-building goes into that, let me tell you.   The goal was to write a smart, funny literary book about ... yeah, that's where I'm stuck.  not a lot happens.  We'll see if I can get past it via the horoscopes.  Astrological sign by sign, buddy.  Pisces, see if you can get back to something you want to do.

Aries (3/21 - 4/19):  I've been living like a traveling salesman for wetlands lately, driving a lot, spending nights in cheap motels, waking up in one horse towns, peddling my wetland boundary trick, singing King of the Road in the car.  It's a little like being a rock star without the fans, roadies, and blow.  Anyway, what I've learned is that a lot of down and out people live in motels these days.  What strikes me, over and over, is the kindness of the desk clerks.  "Sure, Gunner, I'll put you down for a few more days.  Would you like to stay thru Saturday?," she says as she offers him a packet of microwave popcorn.  "This is on us."  And you can tell Gunner isn't really going anywhere for a long long time.  Aries, be that kind of kind.  Be the kind of kind where people are struck by it.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Writing a book is probably not the best plan if you have the attention span of a very small insect.  But what do we actually know about their attention spans?  Could it be that they are watching us, thinking, jeez, all it takes is one little fly-by and these giant meat treats lose their focus!    Mosquitoes are the leading cause of death for humans, and yet they are so very small.  You could put dozens inside one tiny basket.  Taurus, strong like bull, see if you can make out a horoscope out of that.  

Gemini (5/21 - 6/21):   We should all have a solid opinion about time travel.  Do you think it's impossible to travel back to a time before you were born for physical reasons, or because it's a paradox?  Do you believe in the kind of time travel where the word "yet" is key?  As in, no time traveler has prevented the holocaust yet.  (Though, of course, there may be other atrocities that were prevented; we just don't know about them.)  And so on.  Be able to defend your position, if needed.  (And Gemini, if you go time traveling without me, leave a note!)

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21)
I spend a lot of time making string.  I know.  We already have a lot of string already in the world, enough to tie ourselves in knots and then some.  But something compels me to do this like a tree turning color or a fish swimming around in a bowl or, more hopefully, making its way upstream.  String out of wool, string out of silk, string out of grass and cattail and dandelion stems.  As we say around here (and when I say "we", I mean the dog and I), the wheel has already been invented, why not use it to make string?  I don't know why we say that.  It's messy here, with reeds and grass and fleece and things all over the place, but I guess that's the way of it.  Cancer, see if you can untangle a horoscope from that. 

Leo (7/23 – 8/22): Have I mentioned my obsession with tiny baskets?  They aren't very good craftsmanship-wise, but I do like them and one day I'll make a tiny hat for each basket. In the mean time, if you need a very small begging bowl, you know where to come.  Leo, you will have no need for a begging bowl this week. It will literally be a bowl of cherries! Just like they say.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22): Have you stopped to appreciate the simple delight of drinking a big glass of cold water? During the pandemic I started drinking sparkling water in cans because it was fun to have something happen. Peel back a tab, hear that noise that I don't know how to spell, and then, glug glug glug. Bubbles! Who put all the bubbles in that can? A minor miracle. But, if you don't finish it all up right away, and you come back later to drink, it's disappointing. It tastes like water that's been stored in a can. All of the bubbles have been freed like so many hostages, making me realize that they don't really like living in a can. And can we blame them? So I'm mostly back to delicious tap water. But I play this video when I drink it. Virgo, just play the video, even if you're not thirsty, and be grateful for this watery planet that offers drinks. Free the bubbles!

Libra (9/23 – 10/22): Each day that a child is born is a holy day, we say. (Each sock is a holy sock too, but that's a different matter.) The babies are arriving, each one as perfect as can be. These brand new swaddled fresh people, little ones who can't begin to know what they're in for, sleep peacefully. Later, they'll know love, loss, fear, excitement, dread, boredom, joy, grief, uncertainty, confidence, the satisfaction of learning a skill, the contentment of old friends, the sparkle of new friends, the adoration of a dog, the magic of an eclipse. They'll ponder the Big Questions, and they'll notice that some days are good, some not so much. They'll grapple with the observation that humans can unleash unbearable cruelty on one another, and can also be exquisitely tender and thoughtful, here on the planet. They'll learn that they can cry at a movie where the underdog wins, or at a beautiful piece of prose. They'll have a favorite song, and build forts and sand castles. At this perfect moment, the little babies don't even need legs because their people will carry them wherever they need to go. They're surrounded by the adoration of parents and others who have loved them well before they were born, and will love them madly forever and ever, come what may. These new parents will spend sleepless nights feeding, worrying, wondering how it's all going to go, comforting their children when they're afraid of the dark or bees or riding the school bus, reminding their offspring to get off the computer and go outside. They'll wonder how their parenting is going: if should they do this or that, if they were too firm or too lax, too distracted or too involved. They'll teach them all the things, like to write thank you notes and try hard, and take good care of people and things, and they'll encourage them to discover what they care about and then pursue it with passion. It's a tall order. May the road rise up to meet you, new parents.  

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21): If the pandemic has taught us anything at all, it is: NEVER run out of toilet paper, olive oil, coffee or half and half. We don't know what's ahead -- while we're worrying about a tsunami, an earthquake happens. While we're anxious about democracy being taken out by a bunch of rich thugs, a meteor hits. And so on. So I guess we're supposed t let go of trying to control everything and enjoy each moment. The moments, my dear Scorp, are better with coffee and half and half. Do what you can.

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): Did you hear about the fossilized footprints they found, 23,000 years old, in New Mexico?  Oh my word.  That's a game changer.  Stay tuned.  Sag, have a great week, and keep bringing the magic!

Capricorn (12/22 - 1/19): I cleaned my laundry room yesterday (side note: do you see why the book is, well, not the page turner we were hoping for? Um, hello, page 1: I'm home alone cleaning! Page 2. yup.). Anyway, cleaning happens once in a million years, and this time I even pushed the big laundry machines around so I could get the dust and whatnot from under the washer and dryer. Guess what? I found a rebate check from my insurance company from almost a year ago for $260! (A plot! A very tiny plot.) Who woulda known I was sitting on that kind of riches?  I immediately called my boss and retired.  Oh, turns out I am the boss, so I hung up.  It was hard to tell who was hanging up on who.  Anyway, if you believe in that sort of thing, you'd posit that this is the universe's way of encouraging me to clean things up a bit.  Will do, Universe.  Capricorn, you too! Clean, find money, retire! Easy peasy.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18): Never swerve for revenge, as William Stafford said.  Let people who disappoint go without a fuss.  They're doing the best they can with the tools they have, and it won't serve you to retaliate in any way.


I'm excited to report that the author Celeste Ng has selected m y modern love essay to read for the Modern Love podcast next week. Suc...