I had an extraordinary day. I’ll spill details later, but for now, I can’t stop thinking about the fact that my (come on, who believes in this stuff, but it’s so dang fun to read) horoscope said it was going to be this way… it’s been building up to this outrageous pinnacle all fall. Indeed, it’s been puffing and panting along toward this summit since the low of 2009, when, unbeknownst to me at the time, the stars conspired to murder me. Well, kind of. But really. If you’re an Aries, maybe you know what I mean?
Back then, in fall/winter 2009-’10, my whole life shifted cataclysmically. The axis didn’t just move, it split in half. Along with a billion other wrenching changes and challenges, I left my decade-long role as a teacher, which was kind of like peeling off my skin. Teaching had become me. It wasn’t a job. It was more of a spiritual/emotional/physical/mental whole-fucking-body-mind-spirit immersion, and if you’re lucky enough to know what I mean by that, then you get the idea that it was a big scary change. Like, hey, who am I? Are you my mother?
Anyway, today was an extraordinary day. Earlier this fall, my horoscope said this:
“You certainly do need a little fun, dear Aries. Life has been so serious and no-frills lately that you must have concluded that life as a grownup is like this, and you can’t expect things to change anymore. No, dear Aries, you CAN expect better days. You may wonder how long you can endure things continuing on this route, but it may help to know that you are very close to the end of this phase. By October 4, you will be out of the woods for the first time since October 2009.”
And then, no sooner than the stars heralded this news, the weeks of autumn (incidentally, my favorite season, the shimmering colors and pungent smells, the lukewarm sunlight, the squashed crab apples making that fragrant spicy paste on the sidewalks, the bees and the red berries, the backpacks and the school busses, the pencils and the squeaky sneakers, the cold mornings and the sweet, sweaty afternoons, the blueness and the grayness and the crispness and the rot and the beauty of it all, and the aching sadness, I love it so), continued to match my horoscope as it declared how this and that eclipse and alignment would be making all manner of amazingness come my way.
And today, today was that kind of day. In honor of such a day, and in honor of the light and the dark and the ouch of 2009/’10 and the lovely of now, however fleeting now may be, I share these harsh yet light-filled words from D.H. Lawrence:
Are you willing to be sponged out, erased, cancelled,
Are you willing to be made nothing?
Dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.
The phoenix renews her youth
only when she is burnt, burnt alive, burnt down
to hot and flocculent ash.
Then the small stirring of a new small bub in the nest
with strands of down like floating ash
shows that she is renewing her youth like the eagle,