This morning my gmail account showed an email from LENNY. Who’s Lenny I thought? Maybe it was spam? Should I risk opening it? I risked it. I scrolled quickly intrigued with what I was seeing ’til I got to the Lennyscope, aka horoscope.
Born on August 22nd, here’s mine.
(July 23 to August 22)
In the time of disappointment, love still rules. Let yourself have your exact real feelings about your situation without judging what you feel or wondering what is wrong with you for feeling that way. Feelings are not a weakness. They are you at your most you.
I am not a believer in horoscopes (nor am I a dis-believer), but having been told in the past that I am a person who wears her heart on her sleeve (in a Buddhist steering committee meeting where I was arguing my point while fighting back tears), that I look sad (several people have told me this), and that I am SO sensitive (mainly my mother), I big-time appreciated this horoscopic offering.
Being willing to be in relationship to my feelings is one of my biggest challenges. I was actually taught differently. And learned. Some of the things people have noticed about me and my feelings are true, though now I would say rather than “SO sensitive” that I am simply “sensitive” (without the implied negative judgement). Having feelings and not being good at hiding them is a vulnerable place to stand in a world that does not always act friendly and supportive. I have no thick skin.
For me, it’s hard, but necessary work to be in friendly, open-hearted relationship with my feelings. I am so much more likely to dominate them with my thoughts. With victim-y thoughts. With buck-up-girl! thoughts. With let’s-go-shopping thoughts. With what-is-there-to-eat? thoughts. With time-to-go-pull-some-weeds-in-the-garden thoughts. With so many feelings and thoughts it’s a regular boxing match in here.
I tend to regard my feelings as quicksand. If I stay with them too long, I’ll go under. Or with judgment. You – you I lecture myself (as if the you and I are separate beings) – are So lucky compared to this and that and so many other people in the world. For God’s sake, stop complaining. Or stop being afraid! Or stop being such a wimp! Or sometimes, just stop being. Sometimes the blows land beneath the belt. Boxing (read judging) is a dirty business.
I am happy to declare I am a work in progress, though I admit sometimes I wish I could feel more complete. done. whole. Some days are better than others. I’d like to change the boxing ring metaphor to something else. Maybe a ceramics studio. You know, where you give the clay you’ve got to work with your best shot, and sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t. I might mess it up myself, or it might get broken in the kiln, but you know ceramic studios are like this and you don’t take any of the clay objects or what happens in the kiln personally, and you just keep working on your next project, while you keep breathing in and out along with your moments of pleasure and frustration. And then you clean up after yourself.
Reading my horoscope this morning I didn’t really think I was going to end up in a ceramics studio. But life unfolds in unexpected ways. I did actually take a ceramics class late last fall and made a bunch of tiny pots in which I planted tiny succulents, most of which I’ve already given away.
These four tiny pots remain for now. (The tiny champagne bottle top chair I made after New Year’s Eve is in the photos above and below for size comparison).
I also made some tiny plates.
And I made this dragonfly plate to commemorate my father.
When I finish writing this, at some point today I’m gonna go back and read the articles in LENNY (Sorry this link doesn’t take you to the letter format I received and am describing. If you’re interested, subscribe and they’ll send you Letter #23, which you will get via email). Lenny is an email newsletter produced by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. Lenny’s subject title in my inbox was “The Transformative Power of Falling in Love with a Foreign City”. Since I fell in love big time with France last September, I definitely wanted to read that essay.
In Letter #23, there are words about and/or from Serena Williams, Claudia Rankine, Helen Oyeyemi (The lover of the foreign city – Prague), and Ilyse Hogue (President of NARAL Pro-Choice America. This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case challenging a Texas law, that, if upheld, could result in the closure of 75% of the state’s abortion clinics).
There is also a roundtable of black women engineers at a Silicon Valley start-up discussing diversity, an illustration by Maira Kalman, and Melissa Broder’s horoscope. (You might want to check out yours.)
Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? Reading LENNY seems a good way to start it! Maybe also a walk around the 3/4 mile loop at the top of Mount Tam. 🙂