Aries 3° (March 23)


Book of the Week

Book of the Week

The Monday to beat all Mondays: Typically it when we crank up the old machinery, and this week it is that times a million. This is the first Monday back in the States since we flew out on Christmas. Last night was a little different in terms of sleep. I did again wake at two in the morning but only stayed up until four and then slept another ninety minutes; but I had taken a nap in the day for a couple of hours and so the whole of yesterday—the third day of just a few hours per night sleeps—was mainly spent in bed, when not cooking or eating. And from the state of reverie and what is meant to be a healthful and preventative retreat, I awake today with more resolve then I’ve felt in a very long time. And with kindness I need to assert my agenda. This might be boring for you but I’m going to use today’s Blague intro, here, as a sort of real and metaphorical to-do list, in no certain order:

Stop trying to get blood from stony-faced people who don’t reciprocate and value me/you in the manner you (have) value(d) them (and also stop valuing them so much, maybe?). Get on the phone to get your car windshield fixed this week, without exception. Finish putting together the planet moves for next year’s books. Check on current book sales. Send S. thoughts on what we might offer or not in regard to books. Circle back and let Meg know we have returned. Get on the phone to the car mechanic. Finish plotting the planet moves for 2021. Set up a time to talk to TV writer in Dublin. Get info on podcasts. Try not to murder windshield replacement people when they text you that they can’t help after they caused your car to leak. Have a good follow up conversation with them and get more facts. Write to invoice on a branding project. Look up testing for Covid-19 on Cape Cod. Hear from the mechanic that he will info gather on the subject of fixing the car. Find out that all body shops and mechanics are closing in any case until further notice. Hear back from two interested publishers with questions, one of which we understand and will answer, one of which we do not and will not in all likelihood. Call the transfer station to find out how to use it without the car with the sticker—they are not even checking anybody coming in at this point. Reactivate my chart account at the hospital. Make a whole bunch of food for the week. Read the next group of Blagues.

 The following blocks of texs are exceprts from my first year of  Blagues, nos. 16-20. I am reading through all my Blagues, five per day, and posting some samples here. Now, in my sixth year of writing this Blague, but the time I get to my seventh, I will have through all the daily Blagues of my first five years. If that’s confusing I apologize:

So it’s not just me seeing them. Phew. Actually, I saw them as a child (as did a tall Baroness I know), an experience that peaked at the turn into adolescence, and, yes, it was typically around sunset, in Spring or Autumn, when they’d come to light, peeking out from their habitats, usually below exposed roots at the bottom of hillsides, along a creek. That’s where I sensed them most. I kind of love this supernatural oracle happening on Easter because, really, I don’t know what’s wilder, a savior rising from the dead, or hmm-hmms (as we call them in our house) going about their biz. Today’s symbol points to our ability to attune with nature and the power of unseen forces. Way ahead of you.

I know Stella will think of Ireland. We got lost in the West one day, where the road signs were suddenly all in Gaelic. We kept going in circles and we knew we were being toyed with by the hmm-hmms (we dare not use their real names); so we employed a trick we learned from the film Hear My Song, ever seen it? You should: We pulled the car over and turned our shirts inside out and started on the road again, and around the very first curve, we were stopped in our tracks. I kid you not: Standing along the road, some holding hands, were what appeared to be seven children, the “oldest” of whom was, I’d say, ten years old, tops. And they were all in order according to height, the littlest one appearing to be about two. And get this: in their non-clutched hands they were holding tiny metal tools. That’s right. A little spade, a tiny axe, wee mallets, all very antique looking. These “children” were positively diminutive, as if ancient Pictish blood ran strong in their veins, the oldest tallest boy, one would imagine, being an Owen Meany of sorts, compared with those his age. And how to describe their faces. Like slices of strawberry shortcake. Big round white poreless faces with cheeks shot through with ruddy flushes, not chubby but wide with strong broad cheekbones, their some dark and some sandy hair swooping across their brows, stuck, sweaty, to their skin. Because apparently they were working. And they seemed to be waiting for us, because they flagged us down, not we them.

We cautiously rolled down the car window and a collage of curious heads came into frame. “Are you lost?” Asked the boy whose button-down shirt was tucked taut into his trousers hitched by a thick leather belt, the skin of his lower calf exposed where his socks had fallen down and his pants had grown too short—as if that were possible. All their shoes and socks were muddy and they smelled of grass and peat. None of the others uttered a sound, as if they were one collective organism, clinging here and there to itself, with one workable mouthpiece, the others appearing to be purposefully shut tight. We explained that yes we were lost and told them where we were trying to head. And the boy wiped his Dondi swoop of hair from out his crystal blue eyes, a trait the collective shared, and said “Now…” launching into a series of directives pinioned with Gaelic names of this cnoc or that beleach. Glazing over at the musical guidance, we didn’t jot anything down, but just took it in, until the medusa of dirty, sweet, sweaty, and some snotted, faces all began to smile gappily, and nod their noggins, only one of which, apparently, was capable of thinking in English, we were sent on our way, the wee ones waving, again draped in a line across the road, holding hands and tools, in our rearview mirror.

We flipped our shirts inside out and we summoned a whole gaggle of children, like seven dwarves or rather hmm-hmms hi-ho’ing off to work. Later in our journey we ended up at an old estate that had been turned into a beautiful inn, on a cool blue lake over which we glided in antique rowboat, and with a delicious restaurant on the premises that served world class cuisine. Our waitress, we will never forget, was called Bridget; and she was almost as tiny as the leader of that merry band we earlier encountered on the road. She had minute hands and that white-light clairvoyant far-away look simple, special peoplepossess. We have ever since thought of her as Saint Bridget, an ancient Pict of a little person over whose head our sophisticated jokes might fly, as she innocently and benignly smiled at us and served us over the course a few days with her contemplative mien. She might have been a young auntie to those children along that lush country road, they were so similar in look, with the same flushed cheeks and damp brow; and one could easily expect that at some point during her visits to our table she wouldn’t be bringing a smoked fish appetizer or a cheese course but matter-of-factly displaying a freshly materialized stigmata.

The name of the inn was Ard Na Sidhe which translates, but exactly, to Hill of the Fairies.


Our dearest friends bought us a hammock as a house-warming present when we first moved to Cape Cod. And we did indeed stretch it between two trees. And, though bitter sweet to think of it now, that image is never truly far from my mind. I would put the hammock out in the morning and go about my busy day, knowing, at any point, I could stop and just stare up through the trees. It’s an image of savasana, the “dead body pose” where one gets most benefit from lying completely still, letting the body absorb the action performed in other active postures. We have to know when to let the body’s intelligence take over, and mindfully release all our tension, which can be an obstacle to natural recuperation. In Bikram, one does savasana pretty much after every set of every posture. There is a natural rhythm to it, where you exert effort and then receive the benefit of it. The hammock reminds us, in the midst of our busy life, that it is unnatural not to include repose in the process of our industry.

We need to feel the magic of life today, so the slings, arrows and rotten tomatoes you might be ducking can be viewed as inspiration to take a flight of fancy. When we’re feeling down or persecuted we can overcompensate, in a good way, reaching heights we never would have achieved if all was going swimmingly. “No Manure No Magic” was the theme of that great film I Heart Huckabees by that awful human being David O. Russell—and I say awful from first-hand experience. Being pushed to new heights by negative experience, even abuse, was the theme, too, of the recent film Whiplash, but sometimes abuse is just abuse, like Russell in the below clip with Lily Tomlin during the filming of Huckabees. You’ve probably seen this? He’s such an asshole.

But there are a lot of assholes out there. In fact, sometimes, you can see nothing but them. It’s always about money and status. That’s what’s usually driving the mean-spirited of the world. And living in a culture where social and financial competition are so prevalent can really wear on a kind person who isn’t designed to approach life as if it’s some kind of fight for fame or money. Not to say that success isn’t a goal for kind, compassionate people who might be more type B. It’s just that in a world filled with so many grabby sharks running rough shod over others, those who are quietly and selflessly getting their life are obscured by those who are more cut-throat Machiavellian in nature. But you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that those people rarely experience any magic at all. How can they? Their vision of life is too myopic, fixed on their own narrow need to succeed. And it’s a disease. Enough is rarely enough for people for whom life is a competition on every seeming level.

Up until recently I maintained a (one-sided) friendship with a fellow who had become fairly successful in business. We knew each other when we worked at restaurants in the late 1980s in Boston, when I was fresh out of college; and circumstance threw us together once again and it seemed that Fate had more in store for us to work through together. Well, what struck me about this person was his compulsive need to play games, actual ones, nearly incessantly, and his sinister desire to win at them, which he would cheat to do at the drop of a hat. He approached life and human interaction the same way. If he differed with you on a matter of opinion, he would go to great lengths to try to discredit your position, subjective though the challenge may be, because he had to win every argument. He had to be right about everything. This tenacity in competition masked a serious lack of confidence, of course; and resulted, too, in overt social climbing and an increasingly superficial character. Gaining the reputation for being condescending and cruel, he systematically alienated friend after friend over the years, the only people remaining in his life being those in his employ or ones who feel that somehow his worldly success will rub off on them; so they suffer his abuses for that sake. It is a losing battle.

There is a difference between those who may be your enemy and those who are your nemesis. The goddess Nemesis, was that of divine retribution. And in life we may view others as nemesis when they represent the non-you; when we might silently whisper to ourselves “there but for the grace of god(s) go I.” People and circumstance that we deem negative, or blatantly negating, are our cue to go higher, despite the pleasing worldly trappings they represent, or indeed due to them. The “Magic Carpet” of Oriental Imagery, is that of our own mind’s ability to imaginatively transcend the world of appearances and its dualistic dynamics of illusory hierarchies and terrestrial competition. We give over to the knowledge that there is more to life than that, and we leave it to the unimaginative minds to fight for scraps on the ground as we go rise up. The Oriental Imagery points to geometric patterning as figurative portrayals do not factor into Arabian art. And so we know that the carpet is woven with our own abstract designs for living, our thought forms making up the fabric on which we may soar. We’ve been dealing with a great deal of weaving metaphors these past several days and it all seems to add up to taking flight now on what we’ve fabricated for ourselves. We must detach (with love) from static situations and allow our dreams to manifest more fully in our waking life, letting those choosing to play on the ground amass and hoard all their earthly riches and rewards like dragons bound up by avarice and self-loathing, ever fearful that their treasures will be taken away. Those who live in constant fear of being cheated or taken advantage of are always those who cheat and take advantage of others.

But we have the ability to transcend notions of competition and contention; there is nothing holding us down but attachment itself. We don’t need anything. And once we feel we do we risk being incarcerated by that need. Today we are reminded that there is no strife if we don’t struggle. We can’t hang on to anything in the end, so why would one seek to do so in the process of life. We must let go loosely, all the time, not only of material things but of our limiting thoughts. King Solomon had a flying carpet with which he could transport his entire retinue; and yet, if he exhibited excess hubris, the carpet would give a shake and scores of his people would fall to their demise. Pride is forever threatening to bring about our falls. Dragons get slain, the greedy miser loses all he loves. The flight of the Magic Carpet is a selfless one. I liken this image to a lucid dream. When we awake into a dream, knowing we are dreaming, we are tempted to make something we want happen, but expressions of selfish want dissolve the dream. If we are aware we are lucidly dreaming, the way to keep the dream alive is to relinquish any need to impose our wants on it and to, simply, go along for the ride. This is challenging of course but worth the non-effort.

Life is truly but a dream so it’s more than mere metaphor to extend the notion into life. Magic is belief in the unfolding. How can we participate in life’s unfolding if we are viewing life as a competition we must manipulate and “win”—that is anti-life. So step off and hop on the magic carpet of your own soaring participation in life as a dream. Be swept away on the winds of your total faith and belief in the power of your own imagination and design as it is one and the same as that of the divine plan unfolding its patterns. Let go of your wants and so-called needs that keep you in static status quo. And by all means take a road trip of sorts if you can, even if it’s a short hop and a skip to stare at something scenic, or an inner voyage, closing your eyes, allowing your mind to wander, perhaps, through an inky landscape of twinkling stars, feeling yourself fly through outer space to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. Let yourself go.


To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°,  for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360  degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.


Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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