Aries Horoscope for week of December 20, 2007
"Ambition is a bad excuse for not having enough good sense to be lazy," my ex-girlfriend Arlene used to say. She claimed to be a Zen master whose duty it was to deprogram me out of my absurd striving to make something of myself. She believed the key to enlightenment was to do nothing as much as possible. "You're egotistically attached to your identity as a poet," she'd yell into my room as I toiled over my writing. "Come out here and show me you have the spiritual guts to sit in front of the TV and lose your grandiose self in a meaningless game show." While I did eventually emerge from our relationship with an appreciation for the value of emptiness, it was not ultimately my destiny to downplay ambition. On the contrary! Which is why I'm
here to exhort you, Aries, to treat your desires as sacred rocket fuel -- in 2008, more than ever. In the coming months, in accordance with your astrological omens, I will intensify my efforts to supercharge your ambition.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I read Judith Harris' The Bad Secret in part because the author was one of the speakers at the conference and I was hoping to attend. However, I was not strong/healthy enough to attend. Still, I'm glad I read this slender volume of poems. The cover image is evocative of the mood the poems within convey--bare, stark, reflective. Each poem's image seems to either build from a previous one or leap away from any of the other poems and yet the overall emotion remains. These poems are haunting and conflicted. Childhood memories at times delightful and vicious, like a Grimm's fairy tale, are shared side by side with later revelations. If in her book Signifying Pain Harris has taken the time to show how others have used writing to help define and heal their own pyschic pain, in these poems a reader can see how Harris herself has done this by looking first at the cause and then forgiving the effect. What could have been a collection full of anger and self-righteousness becomes, instead, an honest exploration of how forgiveness and grace can grow out of these reflections.
Just thinking of you,
can coax my flesh alive again,
as if that leaf could shiver air . . .
I have no body,
What has earth to do with this?
I tense with pleasure,
like the black feelers kicking
inside the meadow lily’s pinkest inner dome . . .
The downed sun kisses bark;
and the buds keep coursing through bloodstreams
of the upper boughs,
too early and too late for spring.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Psalm 61 1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Selah 5 For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. 6 Increase the days of the king's life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God's presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him. 8 Then will I ever sing praise to your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Maude: I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They're so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be? Harold: I don't know. One of these, maybe. Maude: Why do you say that? Harold: Because they're all alike. Maude: Oooh, but they're *not*. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All *kinds* of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world's sorrow comes from people who are *this*, [she points to a daisy] Maude: yet allow themselves be treated as *that*. [she gestures to a field of daisies]