Imbolc


To do:

Make a to do list. It’s the new year again.

Make a website. I can’t figure it out, I keep getting to the same stage of the process and getting overwhelmed, abandoning it, and then starting from scratch six months later. But its a new year, depending on who you ask, so I will start again and then promise not to start again again.

Cleaning. Cleaning things out because you’re sick of looking at them, after you put away all the holiday decor and take your tree out (I still haven’t yet) and they’re still just sitting there, the worst part of the room. Cleaning with disgust, the baseboards in the kitchen really put up with a lot of mess. That was one too many meltdowns about the same thing and there’s no more excuses for why you’re acting this way (SAD doesn’t work on me, I love the winter, but ymmv). Cleaning with sadness, letting things go because you’re tired of them. This one is more like, for habits. When you’re so sick of your own bullshit that you just have to stop, stupidly.

Nesting in the cold and dark. The new Zelda game came out finally (last May, but spring is not the time for Zelda games, Christmas is the time, and it’s like hundreds of hours long) and I am playing. I’m watching old movies I haven’t seen but pretend I have: Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush is a new favorite, it was funny and fresh in a way that was surprising for being one hundred years old and like the fourth movie ever made. The girls’ fur coats are immaculate. I am reading. I am fixing things at my house: fine tuning systems in a way that is embarrassing that I have the time and energy to do so. I made a box for my keyboard and mouse that closes up to look like a book. It’s dark at six pm and I stay up late and the night stretches out long and quiet and no one is around.

Late winter, or early spring

But it’s early spring too. There’s a dove that lives on my neighbor’s fire escape who comes back on Imbolc every year for the past three years that I’ve been tracking. The little trees on my windowsill are starting their little buds. In the Chinese calendar its Spring 1 at Imbolc, which seems crazy until you really look at the light and smell the air and see the clouds and the doves and the crocuses. That makes it Summer at Beltane, which fills me with dread because that’s my birthday and I deserve to not put my air conditioner in til the solstice but yes I put it in as early as I need it now, which is earlier and earlier. We all know why.

This is an almanac for myself in the city, how I move thru time. I don’t care about the titles but I do like measuring the year in eight chunks, six weeks is a good bit of time. You can get a lot done in six weeks, change your body, fix your work, paint your apartment, organize your deep storage, not care about how much time is passing and how little you’re getting done, make one feast. My calendar this year opens to two weeks, which is a is a great amount of time to actually do something real. The Japanese micro seasons divide the twenty four Chinese seasons into five days, which is about the lifespan of my ‘daily’ to do list: if I get it done in a five day period I feel good. One day is actually, really, emotionally, all there is to me. Every day a day to wake up and feel good about what I’m doing. Three hours is about the amount of time one thing takes.

Eight seasons. Eight phases of the moon cycle thru twenty eight days: new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent, new again. Twenty eight days divided by eight is three and a half days. Two and a third day in each sign. One night.

Consuming

Citrus salad, beet salad, color on plates. Green sorrel pureed and mixed with creme fraiche in beige leek and potato soup. Tarragon pesto in sunchoke soup. Cranberries and feta in hydroponic greens. Herb salad with pickled carrots and fish sauce vinaigrette. Lemon frosting on white bundt cake, because there’s always extra egg whites (I make my own lactose free ice cream). Radish kimchi. Regular kimchi. Sandwiches, because we’re tired.

Here’s my best tip for cooking this time of year: salad dressings, and soups. You can make them in giant batches and then use them for

Contesting

We’re all so tired aren’t we! I’m recovered from the business of the holiday season but in my soul I am tired. The cold and dark doesn’t help. The constant sadness of constant chaos. The fucking evil all around. The exhaustion of having to remind yourself to say that life is cruel and keep doing your best. To have to keep doing your best even tho life is cruel. To dream, stakelessly, about what you’d plant in spring. About what you’ll get to when things calm down. That’s where your heart is. That’s where your hope is.

Braids and glasses. Two coats over a t-shirt. Green, gold, chartreuse. Black of course. Tights under skirts. Shoes you can walk fast in. Glass. Stone colored pottery. Sticks and thistles in vases. Stones on countertops.

Writing things down. You can have as many notebooks as you want.