(If you are new here): I started doing these “The Day of Venus” pieces every Friday as a way to hold myself accountable as a writer, and really just as a person who finds immense solace in consistently expressing and putting into form the inner workings of my mind and heart. I sit down and unleash everything I’ve been noticing, carrying, working through. I let myself be surprised, amused and embarrassed by what is painted. I call upon and obey my dreamworld. I let what wants to be said, be said, and then I leave it where it is. I play with words, listen to the murmurs of my heart, reference notes I’ve scribbled during the week, on receipts and gym paper towels and the 3 notebooks I keep around me in rotation; I look up synonyms and antonyms, grammar rules and poetic techniques, and sometimes get caught in rabbit holes of research until 3am.
I remove myself from the play. I exit the backstage, and it locks me out anyway. I bring the harmonica I bought at the thrift shop for $22 to the back of the building where it smells faintly of piss, and take refuge in having a part to play right there. At the busstop to my left is a grandfather who has been washing dishes all night. He just clocked out at a computer screen where a customer approached and tried to place an order. “Oh no, no sorry I am leaving now–errr–” and he looked around for the cashier as the customer rolled their eyes in victimization. Beside the metal rain-spotted bench nobody is sitting on, leans a Ross sack filled with the basic household needs of a 23 year-old who just broke up with her narcissistic boyfriend of 5 years, and is living on her own for the first time. She holds her umbrella at an angle above her, watching a YouTube video explaining how to change your self-concept. Next year her credit score will go up by 22 points and she will still be living in the $400 plywood make-shift room of an elderly woman she is caring for in exchange for rent, but she will meet a best friend and become known by the french patisserie down the block where she sometimes is given dessert on the house. I’m just a bald lady with her back against brick, a professional amateur playing a harmonica on the ground where her body is shielded from the rain, but her slippers act as a sponge and gutter water carries dust to the crevices of my toes which I carry home with me.
If you were to create a social media account without any previous internet presence, the algorithm will offer you a curated and intentionally designed array of options as your first choices, which would be the same offering to your neighbor, and their neighbor and theirs. Maybe across town where the houses are owned there is a slight shift, but you are offered up the most profitable clips to be exposed to, the most material-inducing of entertainment. These curations are internalized as the standard, the aim, what we should be striving for. How to talk, where you fit, and what to do with the time you spend breathing. It is in your best interest to question, analyze and reject the unspoken rules you’re given. Run into the room and clang on the xylophones, open your door and yodel absurdities into the suburban night sky. Do whatever it takes to claim your aliveness. Tell everyone and no one that you aren’t buying it. Show your teeth, your tongue, your toes. Go outside and touch the ground, the telephone pole, the rusting chainlink fence and the legs of a dead moth.
To heal is to find refuge in a cyclical art form of sorts. It is catch and release, a series of returning to that place in your mind’s eye, that room where you position yourself in objectivity to your fears. It is observing the impulses that were left to roam unchecked–and then grieving those moments you spent so far away from yourself. It is holding space for the redirection of your eyes, your voice, your hands and feet. Honor the Power to Pause. Give yourself time before you speak, make a decision, act. Give yourself the time.
I make sure to be thorough in the notes I take in my mind of the moment as I am in it–the mauve rose of your cheeks, the pressing of my inner thighs around your hips. All day I struggled to stay present, then it became easy to do. Suddenly the duration of a breath becomes a photo in my collection, a poem I want to write, a song I want to sing.
She reminds me that love is an action, energy transmitted, exchanged, released. She reminds me I am flawed and perfect and in motion. She gives to me with deliberation and she gives to me when she is not giving to me.
Companionship is spiritual work just as much as it is a retreat on Sunday. I do not have control over what I do not have control over. I want to be here while I am here.
Each day is a dismissal and an arrival, a reminder that Change Is. Hear the cliffs crumbling into sand; Feel the floors of the ocean widening. Meet the earth with acceptance as it receives your skin, your breath, your bones.
Get into the habit of asking your Dream maker to send you the medicine you need–comfort, signals, reminders of impermanence, reminders of what is infinite. Develop a line of communication with the curator. Trust in what comes and say thank you. Add all of the dream to your Palette of Existence–it’s aroma, it’s curse, it’s atmosphere, it’s language and it’s music. As much as you add your waking day this-ways-and-thats, uphold the visions that come to you while your conscious is at rest, accepting them as being closest to truth, as symbols of the energy dormant and within, unseen and fettering. If you want to live without shame, you must not be ashamed of yourself.
How to bring out the Kali in me: Make your mind up about who I am, who she is, and who they are in totality, and refuse to acknowledge the complexities and dualities of life, of us all, the little we really know, the reality of our ego’s limitations. Analyze something I said or did, or they did, or he mentioned, like it is the only evidence needed for your conclusion in a study we didn’t agree to being the examinees of. And so it is that I have come into acquaintance with what I have in secret called my “Jester Faces”. Pure affection is poured from my eyes into yours–a real and truly intended softness, an acknowledgment of your Holiness, quickly followed by the crudeness of a tongue extended and out, eyes wide. The flash of an announcement is registered by the opponent-seekers and sleeping puppeteers within you as: I SEE YOU; you have been exposed. I return to the softness just as easily as it came, just as generous as the moment before. A shapeshifting angel/beast, because both exist–the rich night of the earth, and the air of the sun-drenched sky, the wildfire and the flood, the blooming and the decaying. I have little tolerance and yet too much patience for the posturing, the prodding, the pretending that we don’t all carry the blades and matches and fungi, just as much as we carry the sky, the wings, and the nectar of the earth.
What will always be more important is the ability to see it inside of yourself–both the beauty and the monsters. All that is pushed away and down becomes amplified in the circumstances of your life, but that can be a toxic new-age message to be sending to people too. Then, all that you fixate on when your attention is out the window also makes appearances. These are both laws of the universe and manipulation tactics, depending on who is speaking. Just as well, tend to your garden like it belongs to you, like it responds best to you and you alone. A new kind of weed has begun growing around the edges of the bed, and so you dig them up by the roots only to discover they weren’t weeds at all, just seeds you pinched into the dirt 3 months ago that you forgot about, apparently spiraling up to the surface at an angle you weren’t expecting. So you sulk and forgive yourself and take note and move on.
Forgiveness is important to practice because you bring ill to yourself when you are ill-wishing upon another, regardless of what they have done or have not done. The laws of the universe do not care about deserving-ness. It is an electrical current in your body you participate in that does what it does to your cells, your organs, your blood. If you are mad, be mad–punch the bag and run 5 miles and write until your wrist aches; sing until your voice cracks and dance until you’re dizzy. Then let it stay there. Let the salt of your sweat go down the drain, the page in your book be a tale to refer to, the song that comes out be a mode of release for another.
And it is a practice–an action, a process, an ongoing and ever-unfolding ritual incorporated into your life for as long as you live.
I promise to slip out from your grip of any understanding you think you have of me, the world, our neighbors, our perceived enemies, and our idols more human than we let ourselves believe. I promise our priorities, our reasons, our fuel sources differ. I promise I have no plan, no motive, no hidden intention or hoped-for outcome. I promise to tell you when I’ve eaten a piece of chocolate `I found on the staircase for breakfast and to include it in the highlight reel. I promise to keep the highlight reel real. I promise I am aware of how mainstream and slogan-on-a-target-shirt that sounds. I promise I am both basic bitch and weirdo. I promise I am at ease with my unpredictability. I promise to stay content. I promise I would burn everything I owned if it meant being true. I promise I am not an angel. I promise to break promises. I promise I will express myself as I am–uncool, unchosen, and callous-footed, yet still smirking at you snaggle-toothed from across the table full of love and jest. I promise that my dreams do not orbit around your approval of them; I promise they are not made more realistic because of your ability to articulate or understand them, neither do they need your support or inclusion to exist. In fact what are my dreams? I promise I live to just live and the blueprint is a vanishing rainbow in the sky. I promise my favorites change by the day, by the week, by the decade. I promise to both break your heart and enrich the soil it lives in. I promise I’ll love you while you’re here and when we’re gone. I promise I loved you before our eyes did their first dancing introductions. I promise I love you even though our eyes have not embraced. I promise I will never run out of this. I promise there are times that sometimes last for longer than I am able to admit, where I am a deserted town of brittle ground. I promise we have too little time to be wasting it on resentment or the bitter aftertaste of a fallout. I promise I can sense the mycelium under your words. I promise you can exit the scene of somebody else’s production and let your character be what it is in their tale, without it having anything to do with the story you yourself live in as the main character. I promise you that forgiveness feels better than clinging to scorn. I promise the process of forgiveness is personal–between you and you, more than between you and anyone else–and can be the greatest, most heaviest battle you’ve won. I promise we are not the same. I promise we have more in common than we dare admit. I promise to admit it. I promise I would still be doing what I am doing now if I knew it was never going to see the light of day. I promise I am A Tool of Loosening, a slouched and cheery and sometimes fumbling enchantress that doesn’t keep track of: the time, where lines are drawn between properties, or the role you’ve designated for the life that is mine. I promise I will always be a ribbon come undone. I promise you will find me when you are not looking for me–on a branch, in a song, in a poem I didn’t write.
Though I look on with admiration and respect–their crimson and bronze hues at dawn, and the unmatched effectivity of their motherhood–I am not a hen. I mind my spine when it tells me to move. My spine moves the way it moves. You have yours, and I have mine.
I am a feathered flute, and the talons that bind me. I sing away the excess of anything until I am once again light. I lean into the squalls as they come.
I am both innocent and accountable for all I am not innocent of. I walk in the center of the point of contact between scarlet and indigo, all prism and shadow and vein.
Listen to the voice that says “not yet”. Let it teem for awhile, just because.