Hello friends and happy Friday! For a number of reasons, today is a very special Friday. First, by the time you read this, I will be in Milwaukee for a dear friend’s wedding, and I am very excited to be celebrating the love of her and her partner. Second, tonight is not only a full moon, but also a BLUE moon, and not only a full blue moon, but also a moon in (my sign!) Aquarius. (….Perhaps you’ve noticed that the “witchy-woo” stuff on this blog has increased, and I hope you’re okay with that, because the older I get the more I feel connected to the planets and the stars. I think it has something to do with their infiniteness and getting further along on a path that recognizes how that limitlessness is also within me, within all of us…).
A full, blue, Aquarius moon (amidst Venus in retrograde) won’t happen again for another 18 years, and it provides an energy landscape for reflecting, but only insofar as it can move us forward. Aquarians are visionaries and don’t dwell much on the past (–which, side note, is very unlike me and explains why I have a Cancer rising sign—), but the blue moon alongside Venus in retrograde is asking us to take into consideration our relationships and where we want to be on our journey ahead. More importantly, this moon extends beyond our interpersonal relationships and is creating an opportunity to reflect on our collective past to move forward toward and alongside movements for social change. Astrologer Chani Nicholas explains the connection between the stars and the #BlackLivesMatter movement, noting: “Astrology, when it is working, can help us to see cycles, both personal and collective. These cycles can reveal the underlying meaning, however mysterious, of our lives. Cycles also remind us how short life is. Cycles can easily be perpetuated when we refuse to learn and grow from the past. Cycles remind us that we may be putting off what we most need to do. Astrological cycles can help us understand and feel connected to the larger patterns in our life and in society.” Yes; let us use this special moon and this special retrograde cycle to consider how to better take action for healing and transformative change in our personal lives in in our society.
And now, four things from the internet + a list of stuff that made me happy this week….
I really appreciated this response to the recent public outcry over Cecil the Lion and the death of that lion is not disconnected to the deaths of Black people in America. Berlatsky writes: “In every case, the point is that (disproportionately white) rich people are seen as having the right to do whatever they want with their wealth. And more, they feel justified in punishing anyone who, for a paranoid instant, they fear might want to take that wealth from them. Inequality enables, and is built on, violence….Lion lives and black lives aren’t really in competition with each other. Rather, both are denigrated in favor of the lives, or even the whims, of wealthy, (often) white people. The powerful can use the world as their hunting grounds, metaphorically and literally. Everyone else is prey.”
(…also appreciated the critique that people are outraged over lion deaths and not the billions of cows and pigs and chickens (etc.) who die everyday in factory farms.)
If you are angry, please read this. If you are not angry, I don’t know why you read this blog and I hope you find a way to practice compassion in a way that makes you angry about the unjust killings of Black people in America. This list provides some good ideas on how to channel that anger into things that can support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Black women, including becoming more educated about the PIC, helping change the narrative surrounding incarcerated people, donating money, becoming a pen pal, and more.
Guys, have you figured out that I LOVE ADVICE COLUMNS?! Dear Sugar, Ask Polly, Autostraddle’s You Need Help, etc. Gimme all of them! #MOARADVICECOLUMNSPLZ! I just love the vulnerability and poetry of the letters, and how it is matched in the responses. I love the empathy and compassion it nurtures. I love knowing other people get stuck and the ways in which advice columns like these provide us heartstopping/tearjerking/soulnourishing tools with which to get ourselves unstuck. Here is a new one I recently discovered: the Butter’s Ask Bear. The first letter I read on the column is about making hard decisions (or even easy decisions….because even the easy ones seem hard sometimes, don’t they?). Bear’s response is lovely; here is a piece of it: “Change is hard. New things are scary. Even if you have something or someone standing by, waiting in the wings in case or until you need them, making decisions and acting on them is a challenging and uncertain business. So, be gentle with yourself. You get all the points for doing the hard work. Because you’re right – there’s no way to know what will happen, or what the faults of the new situation might be. Maybe that single gay curator loses his job or gets a rash from the elastic of his new $35 underpants; maybe his condo floods with raw sewage or his new hot date turns out to have warrants in three states. That guy, though – that guy gets to move forward…That guy, he will try and fail and discover where he is flexible and where brittle, where he’s resilient and where defeated. He can work toward his best self. He can strive. He can fly, even if his wings are yet a little damp. The best news of all here, Brave Correspondent, is that you — your very own precious self — are the guy in question. You, too, can fly.”
Summer is passing quickly and I haven’t made one veggie burger yet! I think this recipe from Faring Well will change that. It’s a completely gluten-free, soy-free, mushroom-based veggie patty, with the most delicious sounding sauce and slaw to accompany it! I wish I still had a grill, but I think these will be great baked too.
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
attending a Black & Pink training to get more involved with court and prison support for LGBTQ prisoners (and just being so happy to be in an activist space again, and to find and share space with “my people”); kitten snuggles to the max; sculpt; moments of no-particular-reason-happiness; friend phone calls; excitement for August plans; sequencing & theming (&teaching) yoga classes; syllabus progress; study dates with feminist colleagues; green iced tea; meditating; la croix; happy hours with yoga teacher friends; walking with friends downtown by the water at night; re-watching “the L word” (#sorrynotsorry); public transit; & rediscovering (& playing on repeat) this song, in honor of the planetary-goodness that is this week. <3
What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xoxo