inspiration, read it love it, words for the heart, writers

Madame Clairevoyant: the only “horoscope” I read

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As mentioned in last week’s Three Things (which will return to its regular scheduled time next week!), I dabble a wee bit in checking my horoscope out. But really, the one I have loved most, for years now, is Madame Clairevoyant. She used to write for The Rumplr, The Rumpus’s tumblr, then The Toast, and I’m so stoked she found a weekly spot on The Cut.

Maybe I love them the most because they’re not rooted in real astrology. But I definitely love them because they are beautifully written and always provide words of wisdom — whether they’re brought from the state of the planets or not — they’re words that help me stay rooted in the week ahead. And they’re words that are often eerily spot on.

Madame C. once wrote:

I am not a real astrologer or a real writer, and so it’s strange and great that people actually read these, that people are connecting with a thing that I work on. At first, when Molly asked me if I’d write horoscopes for the Rumpus, they were so silly—I really wish I were still as funny as this—but then before I even really realized it, they got serious

What I love the most about astrology, what I love most about really any field of knowledge, but especially the ones that lots of Serious People dismiss (astrology, magic, ghost stories, even religion), is the specific structures and vocabularies they give us for understanding our realities outside of common sense or linear time or the rules of science or whatever, the tools they give us for understanding the actual weirdness of our lives.

It is comforting and even fun, sometimes, to blame bad things on Mercury going retrograde; it’s comforting and fun to use astrology to understand the terrible parts of your own personality or your mom’s personality or your friends’ personalities. One of the homeless youths I work with likes to talk to me about how tarot is the only way of looking at the world that makes any sense to him. Everyone rolls their eyes at this, but it’s so real.

I still know hardly anything about actual astrology, though. A lot of people have really put in the time time to learn about the nuances, the complicated parts, the houses and trines and decanates and all of it. I am not there. I am better (I hope?) at paying attention to the people around me, the weird bendy logic of our lives, the emotional textures of the world. My roommate and my sister are both Leos, and they’re utterly different, but there are all these eerie coincidences and resonances in their lives. All the Tauruses I know are totally different except that they aren’t totally different, and I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes up that strange little core of sameness, but that’s where I try to locate these horoscopes.

 

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What ultimately led me to write this post in particular, was this week’s horoscope in particular. For me, it struck me right in the heart. So, without further adieu, one of my favorites to date.

Taurus: Your wildness isn’t too much: Even as it loves, a person’s heart can buck and bristle. It’s possible for loyalty to mean something other than a quashing of your own emotions, your own strangeness, your own rebellion. It’s possible for faith to be critical, and for love to challenge and protest. It’s a week to be true to your people, and a week to stand boldly on your own side, too.

 

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So, go on now, find yours here.

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faith, poetry, words for the heart, writers

World Poetry Day 2017 || Max Ehrmann

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Yesterday, my dear friend Helen shared the following poem. Since reading it, I can’t get it out of my head. It’s beautiful, timely, and every time I read it, I feel as though I’m praying.

Max Ehrmann

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

See past World Poetry Day posts here.

 

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february 2016, Links of Love, march 2013, read it love it, recommended reading, singers, wise words, writers

No. 5

Only three years later… 😉

Dating is a minefield of opinions, philosophies, and personalities… and that’s just when it comes to what people are saying, not the actual dating itself. As someone with terrible anxiety and OCD, there are a million things that make dating emotionally exhausting just from my side. Add in the other party and the heaps of advice thrown my way on the regular, it’s enough to make me want to retreat to my Netflix nest forever, never to leave again. This piece by, Maris Kreizman (the same author of Slaughterhouse 90210), was an interesting take on changing yourself for love and whether or not it’s all really just a matter of luck.

And one of the most dismal parts of experiencing this kind of longing is that I was the victim of a certain brand of single lady concern trolling disguised as friendly advice. Everyone had words of wisdom (often unsolicited!) about how I should fix myself, as singled was an ailment for which I could find a cure if only I tried hard enough and took the appropriate steps to get healthy. 

I’ve been realizing more and more the importance of having a strong tribe of women with whom you feel you belong. I don’t know why exactly it took me so long to recognize the strength that comes with such support  in life, but I’m glad that I finally have. It’s incredible to me that so many of those friends with whom I connect the most have been friends I’ve made through this blog. Some of whom I’ve yet to meet in person. But among those I call my closest friends nonetheless. That’s why I especially loved this piece from Femsplain.

What do you do when you feel like you’ve lost yourself? Be with the person who can put you back together again, who knows what’s broken but not how to fix it. Who reminds you that things are not always perfect, but they are not meant to be. 

On the topic of anxiety, this piece from Artparasites really spoke to me.

Most of all, please don’t give up on me. Even though I even drive myself insane and get frustrated with myself sometimes, I hope you don’t. I hope you can still love me more each day and not resent me for a mental disorder I never wanted.

Jealousy rears its ugly head more often then not these days for me. Maybe it’s social media envy. Maybe it comes with your twenties. Whatever it is, I don’t like who it makes me. And I don’t like how quickly it can eat away at my heart. But it’s there. And when something is there pulling at you from all directions, it’s best to try and understand the cause before you can understand the cure. That’s where this brilliant TED talk comes in. It made me feel less alone. Less guilty. But hopeful.

When we feel jealous, we tell ourselves a story. We tell ourselves a story about other peoples’ lives, and these stories make us feel terrible because they’re designed to make us feel terrible. As the teller of the tale and the audience, we know just what details to include, to dig that knife in. Jealousy makes us all amateur novelists.

And lastly, from Madame Clairvoyant herself, a horoscope that is relevant always, to everyone.

Sometimes it can be easy to feel that you’re less than you are, rather than accept the huge challenge of living your fullest, truest life. Sometimes it can be easier not to want anything at all, rather than accept the deep ache of desire in your bones. It can be easier to deny your real self, demanding and golden and made of so many things. Try, this week, just to sit with the knowledge of who you really are and what you really need. Don’t tell yourself, not even once, to accept anything less than this.

xo-

 

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march 2014, poetry, writers

World Poetry Day || Clementine von Radics, Lang Leav, Warsan Shire

Kissing Her on the Grass
Wojciech Weiss
 

A few of my favorite poems from contemporary poets you should know about:

Home – Clementine von Radics

Tell me again about the wedding
we did not have. How I did not wear white,
did not choke on tradition, did not blush.
All the weddings that were not weddings,
the vows that were just sneezing.
The road ahead painted on a wall and how
we sped over and over again into the brick. I say “we”
like you weren’t just watching me bruise.  

Did you know I built us a home, laid the brick,
filled it with Jameson and apple-cheeked
children? I tried to slip the key onto your tongue
but you cannot kiss a smile. So my home is not
an honest home. So my home is an empty bed.
That’s the thing about heart break. It’s the
smallest of worlds ending. Everyone goes around you
smiling, like it’s nothing to close a door  

Love & Misadventures – Lang Leav

Angels 

It happens like this. One day you meet someone and for some inexplicable reason, you feel more connected to this stranger than anyone else—closer to them than your closest family. Perhaps this person carries within them an angel—one sent to you for some higher purpose; to teach you an important lesson or to keep you safe during a perilous time. What you must do is trust in them—even if they come hand in hand with pain or suffering—the reason for their presence will become clear in due time.  

Though here is a word of warning—you may grow to love this person but remember they are not yours to keep. Their purpose isn’t to save you but to show you how to save yourself. And once this is fulfilled; the halo lifts and the angel leaves their body as the person exits your life. They will be a stranger to you once more. 

 Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth – Warsan Shire 

the year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here. 

and more from Warsan Shire, possibly my favorite poem, full-stop.


Who are your favorite poets? 

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Links of Love, march 2013, read it love it, recommended reading, singers, wise words, writers

No. 4

Returning alas…

I’ve always meant to keep a notebook with me everywhere I go. Only on three occasions have I done so successfully. I’m always meaning to get better about it, tired of scrambling around for scrap paper and napkins and pens at the most inopportune time–to remind myself of everyday encounters, ideas I’ve had on the run. But, having read this essay by Joan Didion, (an excerpt from her book Slouching Towards Bethlehem) I’m even more intrigued to carry a notebook. If not for my future self, than for my past selves.

It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one’s self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.

Thought Catalog is a site I read almost daily. I enjoy it (most of the time) and always get excited when something is posted by one of the writers I dig. (The two I love? Ryan O’Connell and Chelsea Fagan.) Chelsea has a way with just saying how something feels; how to cope; and how to console someone going through whatever the topic may be. She’s a writer who has an ability to come at the topic from every angle. This post she wrote on How To Move On was like someone on a megaphone yelling YES, ANNA. SHE IS RIGHT. TAKE THESE WORDS TO-GO.

Everyone will tell you that you’re going to forget about this, that one day it will seem like nothing, that it will be a blip on the horizon behind you. But the thing is, at least at the moment, you don’t want that to happen. Even if you are never to be together again, you can’t give up that beautiful hope, that memory of being with them, back when they loved you. All of the advice will mean nothing, all of the experiences of others — offered in kindness, in an attempt to empathize — will pale in comparison to yours.

A friend recommended Lorrie Moore‘s book Like Life and I just finished it a few weeks ago. I couldn’t put it down and found myself dog-earring many pages to mark passages that made me say Man, I wish I had come up with something that brilliant. Needless to say I was excited when I came across this interview she did in 2001 with the Paris Review.

INTERVIEWER 

So you don’t feel you were destined to it, that you had no other choice but to be a writer?

MOORE

Well, that’s all very romantic, and I can be as romantic as the next person. (I swear.) But the more crucial point is the moment you give yourself permission to do it, which is a decision that is both romantic and bloody-minded—it involves desire and foolish hope, but also a deep involvement with one’s art, some sort of useful self-confidence, and some kind of economic plan.

I am always eager to hear what artists say inspired their works. This quote from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon about the meaning behind the track Towers was especially interesting to read.

It’s about falling in love, but also about what happens when you’ve long fallen out of love and those reminders are still there. You drive by them, these two buildings, and you look, and you realise that we really built that up. That we really built that love into these things, and for a long time afterward looking at them really made me feel sad; to see these empty buildings that I don’t go in to anymore. But then, as time goes on, they start to become kind of joyous in their own way: you can look at them and think ‘that love was great and these buildings still stand tall.

xo-

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