May 2021 TinyLetter
“…if you think nothing &To the Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall, Kim Addonizio
no one can / listen I love you joy is coming”
Merry Meet, Gardeners & Guardians,
May is upon us, and everything is blooming. On Beltane, I experienced the explosion of pink that are Oregon’s cherry blossoms. Already, they’ve fallen, but their ephemeral beauty was a way of reconciling with the fact that some things are meant to be appreciated in the moment, regardless of whether they endure.
Since last I wrote, I’ve had another quarantine birthday, gotten my first vaccination, made plans for visits, and allowed myself to nurture the sliver of hope that’s presenting itself. I’ve taken some risks, and they’ve paid off. I’m moving into summer feeling like a lyric from VNV Nation, “The station long departed, My fate entrusted to the rails, No certain destination, Except the life I’ll hope to make.”
The big highlights of the last few months are these:
- My braided essay, It’s Only Forever, was included in the newest issue of Coffin Bell, the Labyrinths issue. It’s a photo essay that deals with the long arc of grief, tarot, Cretan and Christian labyrinths, the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, Ariadne’s Thread, David Bowie, Jim Henson’s film Labyrinth (naturally, starring David Bowie,) and the love we can give to others with shitty waffles made from a box. At the end of this newsletter, I’ve included an excerpt and link.
- I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the Average Genius podcast. In the interview, I got to talk about reading tarot, from the basics of what it is and how it works and my own experience learning, to my personal beliefs and boundaries about the queries, the clients, and the cards. I got to use my partner’s fancy voice work mic. That was also a true highlight.
- I took out an ad for my tarot dossiers in the East West Bookshop classifieds section. Another small step in moving towards the kind of writing and professional work that nourishes me. I’ve gotten a few clients, and that’s exciting.
I feel changes coming, not only because of the world inching out of our seclusion, but because this time has, in its way, been like a chrysalis. I will miss some parts of my pre-pandemic life, but I’m more excited for the one I want to build to take its place. I’m approaching a year off social media next month. In this year, I’ve read more books, crafted more, focused more on my friendships outside the Twitterverse, and enjoyed less stress about things that don’t really matter. It’s allowed me to see myself without feeling like I’m constantly performing. It’s allowed me to fail gracefully, quietly, and without comparing myself to others. I’ll miss the life I had before, the friendships that didn’t survive, and the things I took for granted that won’t ever be the same. But that’s also taught me to value the now.
Tomorrow is the New Moon in Taurus, and it signals a time to set intentions for renewals and prosperity – “/listen, I love you joy is coming.” Taurus is like the suit of Pentacles; it’s about the material world, and this new moon is specifically about creating, attracting, and manifesting abundance. It’s a time to commit to self-care, and to invest in the material/financial goals that are most important to you. It’s a great time to map out the next poem, story, or essay – and it’s also a time for radical self-care.
To that end, I leave you with a tarot spread (or a writing/journaling prompt, whichever you prefer) that I’ll be doing tomorrow for the new moon. Beneath the spread, as promised, is the first section of It’s Only Forever, and another link to read the essay in its entirety.
Wherever you are when you read this,
I hope that you can see the light.
Merry part & merry meet again,
New Moon in Taurus Spread
What will you plant in your garden?
1-2 – Self-Love, Self-Care
- How will you validate yourself and grow into your best self this lunar cycle?
- How can you promote self-love through self-care?
- In what ways will you take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual health?
3 – Commit
- How can you commit to expressing self-love and performing self-care this cycle?
- How can you be consistent, even when you’re not motivated?
- What can you commit to?
- Even if it’s only 10 minutes a day, can you commit to fostering self-love and performing self-care?
4-5 – Purpose, Potential
- What is your True North?
- What is the thing that gives your life meaning, that drives you and inspires you?
- Is there a disconnect between your purpose and your potential?
- If so, how can you bridge the divide?
- How will you merge your purpose and potential to become the best version of yourself?
5-7 Responsibility, Motivation
- What are your responsibilities to yourself and to others?
- What are you responsible for in merging your purpose and potential?
- What motivates you to realize your potential and develop your purpose?
- What can you do to be consistent, even when you’re not motivated?
8-9 – Limiting Beliefs, Purge
- What limiting beliefs are you holding?
- How are these imposed limitations preventing you from pursuing your purpose, realizing your potential, staying motivated, and committing to honoring yourself with self-love and self-care?
- How can you rid yourself, nullify, or reverse these limiting beliefs?
10-11 – Finances/Money/Abundance, Manifest
- What are your goals for abundance, in terms of career, finances, or the material world?
- How can you manifest these goals into fruition?
12 – Guide
- What is the thing that will guide you during this lunar cycle?
Into the Labyrinth
There is a Minotaur at the center of these stories.
Life is a kind of Labyrinth, with all its twists and turns, its straight paths and its occasional dead ends.― Jim Henson
I meet Muriel’s ghost in my dreams, in the Labyrinth. We’re both dressed like Sarah. I know that there’s only thirteen hours to get to the center of the Labyrinth, or one of us will disappear. I hold in my hands a golden spool of memory. It is my job to unwind the thread, to outwit the Goblin King, to bring back my friend who was stolen. All this responsibility, held in the palm of my hand.
The labyrinth is an ancient symbol linked to wholeness, a journey to our own center and back out into the world again. In a unicursal labyrinth, there is only one path. Though it may be circuitous and complex, there are no blind alleys on the way to the center. The way in is the way out.
I meet Muriel’s ghost in my dreams, in the labyrinth of Crete. She is Theseus, the hero of the story, and I’m Ariadne. At the center is the Minotaur. It demands a sacrifice, but no one can remember why the gods are punishing us. I hold a glittering clew of golden thread in my hand. It is my job to unwind it, to evade the Minotaur, to lead us out safely. All this responsibility, held in the palm of my hand.
I’ll tell the story, Muriel says. Like Theseus.
You’ll abandon me, I answer. Like Theseus.
At the center of the labyrinth is a Minotaur, and they, too, I meet in dreams. I ask them what their true name is, what they’ve chosen to call themselves in a place where no one calls them anything. Grief, they answer. That explains the hunger, the rage, the violent need. It explains the confusion and desire found in liminal spaces and the terrifying thrill of realizing you’ve been abandoned – a sacrifice or a scapegoat – in the twists and turns of love gone wrong. Yes, they tell me, that’s exactly it. I wish I didn’t have to stay hidden down here. I wish I had other things I could eat, but all they ever give me is blood. I’m so hungry.
There is a Minotaur at the center of these stories.