Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Why follow astrology if you don't apply it ... - Elsa P."

SCORPIO (Oct 23–Nov 21): The dictionary says that the verb "to schmooze" means to chat with people in order to promote oneself or make a social connection that may prove to be advantageous. But that definition puts a selfish spin on an activity that can, at least sometimes, be carried out with artful integrity. Your assignment in the coming weeks is to perform this noble version of schmoozing. If you are offering a product or service that is beautiful or useful or both, I hope you will boost its presence and influence with the power of your good listening skills and smart conversations. - Rob Brezsny
Captain Jack Sparrow via Wikimedia

Pete and I are just back from an early morning breakfast at Mukilteo Coffee. The cafe is just down the road from our woods' place. We and one of the owners go way back to times when the now-major corporate business was a sidewalk kiosk outside Mukilteo's old bus barn on Front Street. "I'm getting older," Gary said as I gave him a hug and reply that I'm pretty good. "Pretty good ha?" "Yay, we're alive another day. Live to pirate another way," I said. It got a rise out of the guy who is always ready with a comeback or quip to keep momentum up. He's a master schmoozer, who believes everyone knows his secrets. Can't vouch for that one, but he does appear to be an open book with just about everyone.

I woke this morning after a fitful sleep, trying to find a comfortable way to accommodate a pain in the neck. "Where did that come from?" Pete asked when I apologized for the loud sawing of log snoring coming from me because I couldn't sleep on my side. I answered with no hesitation, "Stress." He went no further with words. Went on with his sleep and his dreams. We are without doubt in a major period of transition, birthing something new, as we step out of the woods literally and metaphorically. It's not smart to disclose the details of where or with whom we are collaborating, but it is important to keep walking the walk reinforcing the talk of Spanish poet Antonio Machado:

Caminante, no hay camino. 
Wayfarer, there is no way

El camino se hace por andar.
You make the way by walking it.

I got an email the other day from one of the people I see for health care. She was checking in with me to see how I was getting along, hoping the warm weather was aiding in my recovery from the wet and moldy conditions of late spring. I wrote back and said I had learned a lot this year, and that among other things we were moving out of the woods. My last line in the reply was that I  had learned the limits of health. It's a paradoxical condition to say that to your health care giver; but true. There is a limit to how healthy a person can be. No matter what we do, or don't do we none of us get off the planet alive. 

In my case, and I am not alone, the limits of health include the reality that much of what my health care giver offers does not help. This excerpt from Brian Doyle's novel Mink River, a portrayal of courage, character and mythic reality was a dose of medicine story for me. The town doctor is walking and talking with Billy, Worried Man. They speak of their work, their profession.

"You know, says Worried Man so quietly that the doctor has to strain to hear him over the lap lap lap of the patient ocean, I am tired of pain.
I know the feeling.
I have smelled it all my life and I am tired of it.
Yet we are professionals, Billy.
We volunteer for other people's pain.
To carry their pain.
To heal their pain.
But we don't, do we?
We ... what?
We hardly matter most of the time.
We don't, Billy. We make our holy gestures, we conduct our intricate and complicate rituals, we apply salves and poultices, elixirs and potions, and people remain broken and torn. The best I can do is just witness the pain...Pain comes to me and I wave my arms and conduct my intricate rituals, as ephemeral as the wind, as insubstantial as shadows, as elusive as smoke." 
"I've shredded both your checks," my health care giver wrote. 
"Thank you, what an unexpected gift," I replied.

So ... this way we walk, this one that I walk with a soul that is as surely imbued with the character of pirate in all its cunning and schmooze-glue, I walk knowing, through experience, there are limits to health. Astrology, a practice I follow, a walk I walk consistently, points to my heavily tenanted 8th House; very Pluto/Pele and extreme in most of my expressions. After six years of living a cloistered and protected woods life, Pete and I prepare for a change. Extreme. Back in the day when I was a younger woman, the age when first I met the coffee baron of Mukilteo Coffee fame, I was a master of schmooze and was paid to ply my wares. Life has changed a lot. Those limits of health shorten my stores of energy, but, there is a lifetime of practice that can be edited (it's Virgo Season, Virgo is a master of edit) and applied.

Jack Sparrow may be one of the infamously famous silver screen pirate characters, and a personal favorite. But he is only as good a replicant as the pirate of my our family stories. I am a granddaughter of a pirate, Francisco Calizar. The stories of him are mine, given to me while I listened to my Papa Honey under the shade of puakenikeni and plumeria trees. They are fuel for my pirate's soul feeding my imagination dialogue and conversation to sell "a product or service that is beautiful or useful or both." 

Will we sell on the open market, or via the thriving yet repellent black market? I hope to do so with that Brezsny spin "carried out with artful integrity."

Arrrgh, Francisco, lead the way. 

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