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Here's what Rob has to say:

Pisces Horoscope for week of September 29, 2016
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
You know that inner work you've been doing with such diligence? I'm referring to those psycho-spiritual transformations you have been attending to in the dark . . . the challenging but oddly gratifying negotiations you've been carrying on with your secret self . . . the steady, strong future you've been struggling to forge out of the chaos? Well, I foresee you making a big breakthrough in the coming weeks. The progress you've been earning, which up until now has been mostly invisible to others, will finally be seen and appreciated. The vows you uttered so long ago will, at last, yield at least some of the tangible results you've pined for.


OH HRM interesting


Another weekend that kinda wasn't

Friday night I made the conscious decision to skip my nephew's engagement party (hey! My nephew got engaged! Yay!) because I could have possibly maybe stayed for 30, 45 minutes tops and I would have likely been cranky. I felt the more sane and more kind decision for all involved was to go home and go to bed very early and sleep as much as I could before my morning meeting.

So I did! And I got up at 6:45 which was too late but COME ON, and I was a few minutes late for the meeting's 8:45 "start time" which was actually a ruse to get us there before 9:00, which is brilliant and therefore most of us were on time! Ha! Awesome. And the meeting went until a little after 11, then I talked to a few different folks for a while and eventually went out to get some lunch and then came back to do some work. Then at 2:00-ish kids started arriving for Circus School - last week it was the 8th graders, this week the 9th graders. We had a fairly tiny group, but we had a lot of fun, and then we came back to the interfaith center and had pizza and a parent orientation meeting. Then we cleaned up and I finally went home, with a stop for groceries on the way so I wouldn't have to do that the next day. I went home and ....kinda just chilled out and read and noodled online and then went to bed early again, basically.

Up around 8:00 on Sunday, a really good night's sleep which was a treat. (I slept well on Friday too, just not for as long as I wanted.) Got to church on time, went to service, then chatted a bit then went to my office (quiet, for once, due to some activities I was skipping) and got some work done, then I went out for lunch and Target errands. Then, back to the office for more work, prep for evening classes, then evening classes, then a facilitator meeting for 8th grade, then home!

Now up again.

Yes, it's a good thing I'm only trying to sustain this sort of schedule for a short amount of time. And now that the classes are actually rolling I should be able to go back to having Saturdays off, mostly. Except for the next two? But then I go on vacation! (And this Saturday my obligation is very small.) (It is, unfortunately, early.) Living the dream! Which, I'm not really joking, I kinda am. But the real dream will involve more flexibility in time I can sleep and get things done. =D


This week in the Universe per Rob:

Pisces Horoscope for week of September 22, 2016
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
I invite you to explore the healing power of sex. The coming weeks will be a favorable time to do so. You are also likely to generate good fortune for yourself if you try to fix any aspect of your erotic life that feels wounded or awkward. For best results, suspend all your theories about the way physical intimacy should work in your life. Adopting a beginner's mind could lead you to subtly spectacular breakthroughs. (P.S. You don't necessarily need a partner to take full advantage of this big opening.)


oh hi sore spot thanks for poking that


where angels wander

Originally published at Examorata. Please leave any comments there.

It didn’t take Google for me to know that the concept of complete cellular renewal in the human body every seven years is a myth. I know that no neurons are added to the cerebral cortex after birth. I know that the cells of your cornea are with you your entire life; they get tired and rigid and won’t focus properly and that’s why if you live long enough you will need reading glasses, the end.

Not gonna lie, though – I checked around just to make sure because it would be so damn poetic. But nope: it’s definitely a myth. Different types of cells die at different rates and some are never replaced. It is not a tidy thing.

Not that there is much tidy about life. Looking for a set of parameters that mean renewal, a fresh start – it’s tempting. And oh it would be so poetic.

My Dad loved poetry. He used to memorize it in school for extra credit. He told me that story often, after he’d rattle off “The Raven” or “The Charge of the Light Brigade” for no reason that I could see but sheer show-offishness. He loved poetry that told a story. He loved stories. He read me The Lord of the Rings when I was too small to protest at the boring battle parts. He recited poems. He read me Horton Hatches The Egg approximately 2309480398 times per my requests.

Tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of the day my father died.

It snuck up on me. That feels odd to admit. I didn’t precisely forget, but at lunch today with a friend it struck me that today is the 19th, which means tomorrow is the 20th, which means it will have been 7 years exactly.

At a time when my life is full to overflowing, it feel strange and sad to talk of loss or lack. But even without my full recognition of the closeness of the approaching anniversary, I have just lately been full of feelings of longing for something I cannot easily define. Rather than chide myself for insufficient blessings-counting, I am trying to accept those feelings to see what they may have to tell me – about myself, about the way I am in the world, about the way I may be better present for those around me.


I can’t really tell you what I’m learning right now. It is a work in progress and in many aspects it is for myself alone. There is the work we do for ourselves and the work we do for others.

My father did a lot of work for others. He wanted to help us all, so much. I frequently tell the story of him presenting me with sales circulars from his hospital bed, helping me find the best deal on the new mattress I was shopping for at the same time he just happened to be dying. There are things I’d like to ask my father now. They are mostly things about how he did the work of caring for himself.


I thought about writing another epistolary entry. I thought about talking again about how I don’t miss him every day. I thought about writing a story about my reaction to the anthropomorphized-afterlife comments on a Facebook post about reading the new Harry Potter book without being able to talk to Dad about it.

But I just wanted to sit down to write. To get it out. Not to create or craft. I have said lofty things about loss and important things about grief, things that have been a help to myself and others. Every year I am saddened as more of my friends join the “club” and must bid a beloved parent a final goodbye.

But right now I am trying just to be. To be full and empty. To be happy and sad. To be comforted by love and wrecked by loneliness. To live the extremes I contain. To know that it is absolutely fine that the anniversary of my father’s death snuck up on me, and to be shaken to the core that it did. To know I am not an entirely new person from the person at his bedside seven years ago…and that I am.

The title to this entry is from the lyrics to a Robyn Hitchcock song, “Airscape.” It is very beautiful. I am not sure my father would have liked it, but he always did appreciate eccentric Englishmen, so I feel it’s fitting.

My weekend was part weekend!

Hooray! Saturday was mostly unstructured. Actually I guess it was entirely unstructured, but although I didn't succeed in doing ZERO work I didn't do much.

I slept in, I did laundry, I read, I hung out with the cats. Eventually I showered and headed to Eastern Market to look for a funky clock for my (shared) office, without luck. But I mean I was walking around Eastern Market so no real downside plus I didn't spend any money. I went back to Union Station for Shake Shack. One of these days I guess I should have one of their shakes but I usually can't handle burger + milkshake. Maybe after my next 5K or something. =D

I came home and relaxed and eventually Amber got home and we caught up a bit. And I went to bed early because I went to bed early because Sunday was gonna be a LONG day.

There was a little backfire: I woke up around 4 a.m. and just couldn't quite get back to sleep, though I might have drifted close. Sunday was the first full day of RE classes for the fall and frankly I was nervous.

I got up at 5:30 to get ready in time to get to Wegmans a little before 8 a.m. to pick up breakfast for my 8th grade group, which was having a little "bonding experience" field trip to Center Ring Circus School. And I got stuff and got permission slips and money and we played a name game and went to the Circus School and it was lots of fun! And I think the kids all had a good time. And then I was in the office for an hour or so, then I went to get lunch (back to Wegmans for channa masala) and groceries (why was TJs in Columbia still so crowded at 3:30 p.m.!?), then back to OBIC (groceries in fridge) for actual evening classes. Which went fine. I think it's going to be fine.

I'm frustrated because I feel like I can't do my best work at either job because I'm tired all the time, plus I have to move in two months. (NOTE Call movers this week!!!) I honestly wonder what it would cost to have professionals pack stuff for me? OR I could just get rid of almost everything I own, I mean cripes, who needs this much crap!?

So it was a good day, and a very long day, and a very tiring day. And today I am sore as hell and have bruises around my midsection from dangling my carcass from the fabrics at Circus School.

I learned that I have a natural ability to spin plates. Thanks for that spiritual confirmation, Universe! I just hope I can keep several spinning for these next few months. =D

The week in Rob

Per Brezsny:

Pisces Horoscope for week of September 15, 2016
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
Should you be worried if you have fantasies of seducing a deity, angel, or superhero? Will it be weird if some night soon you dream of an erotic rendezvous with a mermaid, satyr, or centaur? I say no. In fact, I'd regard events like these as healthy signs. They would suggest that you're ready to tap into mythic and majestic yearnings that have been buried deep in your psyche. They might mean your imagination wants to steer you toward experiences that will energize the smart animal within you. And this would be in accordance with the most exalted cosmic tendencies. Try saying this affirmation: "I am brilliantly primal. I am wildly wise. I am divinely surprising."




not really a weekend

I kinda worked all weekend, second-job stuff. It was good: teacher training Saturday, and Ingathering Sunday was lovely with the potluck and all, and then the OWL parent orientation in the evening. But yeah: I didn't really have a weekend. I know that's going to happen sometimes, and I'm trying to mentally prepare. But I'm also guarding my free time like a dragon on its hoard, so ...yeah.

I did contact the three people I'm asking for grad school recommendation letters - and all three said yes, enthusiastically. So that was really nice. =)

As for when I'll have time to do the applications or pack to move in two months? WELL we'll get there. Sometime. =D

Friday was my 14-year anniversary at first-job. What difference 14 years makes.


The alchemy of fear

Originally published at Examorata. Please leave any comments there.

May we remember.
Not the images.
Not the pain.
Not the fear.
Not the fire.
Not the tears.
Not the anger.
Not the unknown others.
Not the threats.
Not the repercussions.
Not, all the gods that ever were or are, NOT the endless war.

Lift our hearts to that moment of blue-sky September-perfect.

We were kind.

Close your eyes.

Those days were kind. We were gentle with each other.

My prayer of remembrance is for that kindness. Those days we regarded each other as the treasures we really are.

“You, friend. You, stranger. You are a blessing, you are a miracle, you are here.”

When I think of the sheer force of destruction that had to happen for us all to stop honking our horns at each other for a couple days, I want to weep.

What do we do?

We must each ask ourselves, how do we summon that feeling without that horrible force?

What would it take for our hearts to fill with kindness and wonder at all those around us without the alchemy of fear?

Close your eyes. Remember what it felt like to wake up, alive, on September 12.

Go forth and feel that way again.

Blessed be.

Note: I wrote this last night as a draft. After sleeping on it, I realize that my perspective of those first few days after 9/11 is deeply influenced by my own privilege. My house of worship was not attacked. I was not looked at suspiciously because of my appearance or shunned because my name had its origin in Middle Eastern cultures. Too many of the “others” WERE our neighbors, but because of my privilege, that didn’t touch me, at least not in those first few days. Working two miles from the Pentagon, as I did at the time, my energy was focused almost entirely on gratitude that I, and my loved ones, were all safe. Still, while none of this invalidates this small prayer, this hope, I do want to acknowledge the fear in the hearts of far too many of my neighbors in those strange, sad, scary days.

I will add to the prayer, then – May we always be willing to look at others with kindness first and foremost.

Past reflections: Five years, ten years

Change itself is not good or bad - it is the essence of life itself. We cannot avoid it, only decide how we want to meet it.
Change itself is not good or bad – it is the essence of life itself. We cannot avoid it, only decide how we want to meet it.


Oh Rob:

Pisces Horoscope for week of September 8, 2016
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
I'm giving you an ultimatum, Pisces: Within the next 144 hours, I demand that you become at least 33 percent happier. Fifty percent would be even better. Somehow you've got to figure out what you can do to enhance your sense of well-being and increase your enjoyment of life. I'm sort of joking, but on the other hand I'm completely serious. From my perspective, it's essential that you feel really good in the coming days. Abundant pleasure is not merely a luxury, but rather a necessity. Do you have any ideas about how to make this happen? Start here: 1. Identify your four most delightful memories, and re-enact them in your imagination. 2. Go see the people whose influences most thoroughly animate your self-love.


...thanks? I mean, not a bad idea. But...hrm.


It was a good long weekend.

It wasn't perfect, I should have taken more time off the grid and not interacting with screens, but I did some of that. And I did some friend-time and not too much work-time and tomorrow I managed to have the day completely off, essentially.

I have one hell of a busy September coming up, though, friends. Boy howdy.


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