Я СПРОСИЛ У ЯСЕНЯ: The queen of all weird/wistful Russian songs is this one, though. Have I posted this here before? Ahhhhhhh. This song is so seductive to me, it’s so dangerous, it makes me think I want cold St Petersburg winters, it makes me think I want heartbreak. Why does it pull at me like this! All these whistling winds empty streets fur hats coats buttoned all the way up to your chin, I don’t know, I don’t know. There are citrus trees in my backyard. I don’t think I’m totally allowed this anymore.
НЕПОГОДА: This is a song about bad weather, from a Soviet Mary Poppins movie that I’ve never seen. It’s raining so hard in New Orleans today; I got soaked on the way to work and everyone’s been gently teasing me for being a Yankee. This song always gets stuck in my head when it rains, and it always gets stuck in my head when I’m feeling weird and wistful. I’m feeling so weird and wistful today. Someone’s searching for you among the rains. Sure, song. Whatever, song.
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Aries: As your days slowly start to stretch out, this week, let your body fill with energy, let it fill with wildness, let it fill with some kind of strange feelings of hope. This week, you can grow lighter than the things around you, you can move, you can soar, you can rise like the sun. Let these days make you brave. Let this courage make you kind. Use your time this week to move up and up and up, above the mountains, above the clouds, above every dark thing that you know.
Taurus: This week, it’s going to be good to be a little impulsive; it’s going to be good to be a little bit wild. It’s going to be good if you can act, even if you don’t know why; if you can move, even if you don’t yet know where you’re going. For now, this week, you can trust your body over your brain. Trust your instincts enough to see where they’ll lead you, trust the moments when you feel excited, trust the strange small desires that burn like fuel in your heart.
Gemini: This week, when the air feels clean, when the sky is bright, when you wake up feeling strong happy, work to set things right in your world. This is a week for returning kindnesses, or for coming clean, or for fixing the things that have been itching at you, the things that have been a little off, a little unsettled, a little crooked. It’s a week for working to live right, for restoring gentle balances, for letting tenderness and honesty live inside of you. Take care of plants. Watch the days slowly get longer.
Cancer: This week, you’re going to feel called by your strangest dreams; you’re going to feel pulled by your most secret desires. Even at work, even in the grocery store, even on your slowest and greyest days, glittering visions of other worlds and other lives are will haunt you, they’ll call to you, they’ll stop you in your tracks with the bright beauty of what could be, if things were different. Be brave enough to say yes to these alternate worlds if you want them; be brave enough to say no.
Leo: Something inside of you is going to glow, this week, something inside of you is going to shine, something inside of you is going to hum with a bright electric energy. You can be wild this week, and you can be brilliant, and you can be dangerous; this is such a gift. Something inside of you is going to sparkle like a diamond, all hard and bright and indestructible. Let yourself shine this week and you can light up your house, you can light up your neighborhood, you can light up your city.
Virgo: When you have quiet moments, this week, or when you can breathe most freely, give yourself time for wandering. Spend your time going on walks, watching the earth, watching the sky, watching the world move around you, so colorful, so strange. Spend as much time reading as you can. Go to the library and check out books you’ve never even heard of. Try to remember how much life there is outside your house, how much world exists outside your own head. Listen to other people. Believe the stories they tell you. Be as generous as you can.
Libra: This week, you’re maybe going to feel a little soft, or a little small, or a little vulnerable, or a little tender. This can feel like a curse or it can feel like a thrill or it can feel like a gift. Spend your days with the people you love the most, with the people who make you feel safe, with the people who make you feel wild. Spend your days with the people who deserve your secrets. Spend your days with the people who will defend your softness with their whole lives.
Scorpio: This week, when the sun comes out and when the nights are clear, let yourself remember that the days will grow long again. Let yourself remember that the air will get soft. Let yourself believe that you can be strong and happy. Spend your afternoons reading or dreaming or baking bread. Plant some seeds in containers on your windowsill. Give yourself quiet when you need quiet; give yourself noise when you need noise. Spend your time nurturing yourself, spend your time nurturing your friends, spend your time remembering how you most want to live.
Sagittarius: This week, you’re maybe going to grow so fast that you barely recognize yourself, you’re maybe going to grow so fast that you don’t recognize your own world anymore, all small and far away. This week, you’re maybe going to feel like you’re coming apart at the seams, or like you’re shedding skins, or like you could burst right out of your own body. This is okay, it’s good, it means that your heart is still beating, it means that you’re growing, it means that you’ve alive. Drink enough water, eat enough to keep you strong.
Capricorn: Sometimes, this week, in the morning, you’ll wake up and everything will seem new, you’ll wake up and everything will seem strange, you’ll wake up and not recognize anything, not even the colors, not even the street outside your house. It’s strange and it’s dizzying but it can free you to move in new ways. Go to the museum and look at art that makes the world seem new. Take the bus to the end of the line. This week can open new doors; this week can open new worlds.
Aquarius: This is a week for working hard, it’s a week for getting a little ambitious, it’s a week for dreaming dreams that can make you dizzy. Look to your best future, look to the future you want the most, look to the visions of life that keep you up at night, that make your heart beat fast. This week, you can put aside everything that would grab at you, that would hold you back. This week, you can cut through all the weird tangles of the world; this week, you can move like you’re free.
Pisces: This week is going to be filled with good luck, this week is going to be filled with small kindnesses, this week is going to be filled with a feeling that the skies are smiling on you, a feeling that anything might happen, that any wild magic might suddenly be yours. This week is going to be such a gift, this week is going to give you so much. Use your time as well as you can. Do things that make you scared. Do things you’ve never done before. This week, the whole world will be yours.
Today’s image was made specially for Madame Clairevoyant by Jen May.
"I had an idea to write a book about all the men who’ve been cruel to me and my friends and my past and future friends, about male writers who ignore the writing and work of women, who shamelessly benefit from the patriarchy, or those whose ignorance of privilege cloaks them in a soft warm bubble. I was going to name names and do a kind of literaryeschrache, but the book would have to be too long.” — Alii Warren, On Failure
The executive director at my new office reminds me A LOT of my granny. Something about the tone of her voice, something about the cadence of her speech, something about her particular cigarette-perfume scent combo. Something about the way she smoked a cigarette on the back patio after lunch on Friday, lipstick marks on her little cup of iced tea. This really does something to my heart and I can’t quite say what!! Something about all the lives my granny didn’t get to live, something about the life she did get to live. Something sappy about alternate universes or diverging paths or chances offered or roads not taken. I mean, something about cigarette and perfume scent combos, probably, mostly.
Yes! / “Newly defined term amongst scenesters for jocks and preps” (Jesse, March 15, 2005), ugghhhh golden years of my life (?).
omggggggg YEAH DUDES
YEAH DUDES yeah dudes aaahhhh I am like breathless with longing for stupid central New Hampshire, breathless with longing for the stupid early 2000s, uugghhh miss you, yeah dudes
Oyeyemi says that she thinks of herself as “ugly but interesting,” and she’s happy with that. “It helps me to think more clearly, if that makes sense.”
I ask why she thinks she ‘s ugly.
"Boys would come up and tell me," she says, matter-of-factly. "I’d be on the bus home, and they would say, "You’re so ugly, do you know that?" And after a while, I would just say, "Yes, thank you." At first I would cry. But I after a while you just think ‘Why does it matter so much?’"
Oyeyemi clearly still carries wounds from her teenage years: “I was suicidal for a long time in my teens and I was so unhappy,” she says. “It was the kind of unhappiness that you know everyone else is feeling, but you don’t care because you’ve dehumanized them, because they’re all monsters and demons and beasts who are out to kill you, so you become a beast and a monster yourself. I regret so much.”
Her fairy tales are not of the happily-ever-after variety: “Sometimes people ask me what I write and I say that I retell fairy tales, and they say, ‘Oh, children’s books!’ And that makes me laugh. People say things like ‘I want a fairy tale existence.’ The Brothers Grimm would be looking at them in this astonished way, like ‘So you would like your whole family to be murdered and then eaten in a pie?’” She laughs delightedly.
"People think they’re soft because they’re these perfect examples of narrative order. There is an ending that is usually happy, and a beginning, middle, and end … In this era where everyone is kind of postmodern and meta, we dissociate in a lot of ways from our circumstance. So I think there’s that sense that they’re so ordered, and therefore orderly, but actually, they’re just completely chaotic."
And fairy tales teach lessons, she says. Lessons like “Everything that you see is not necessarily what it is. You have to find another way to know things. You have to find another way to know things. There is inner vision. And then there’s exterior vision. There are levels of seeing.”
They reveal “some of the hardest and harshest truths about the ways that we live and the ways that we’ve always lived.” She cites a story she found in a book of Czech fairy tales. A princess is being courted by a magician, but she refuses him. In punishment, the magician turns her into a black woman. As Oyeyemi read it, she started crying. “It was awful … The worst thing that the teller of this tale can imagine is being black.” In Boy, Snow, Bird, she writes, “it’s not whiteness that sets Them against Us, but the worship of whiteness.” She tells me, “I feel as if we’re still in that era. There are still lots of ways in which it is horrific not to be the norm.”
The most poignant part of Helen Oyeyemi's interview on NPR where she addresses some very heavy personal issues concerning depression and suicide, race, universal perceptions of blackness and the “worship of whiteness”.
Conversely, the interviewer, Annalisa Quinn, starts off the article by writing, "The first time I met her, it was in a bar so dark that all I could see were her eyes and very white teeth", ignoring the matter that Oyeyemi raised on whiteness and its lack of racial sensitivity.
Friends: I am starting a new job tomorrow! I’m not working on underwear catalogs in New Jersey, and I’m not doing Americorps, and I’m not preparing food for the ~creative class~ in Fort Greene (best job I’ve ever had, but), and I’m not working 10pm-10am shifts (also a very wonderful job, but). I’m really happy about it! Today I had to go get a background check at the state police headquarters in Baton Rouge (where I chatted with a very friendly old white man in line for a concealed handgun permit, yikes, this place, I don’t know). I don’t know!!
The Rumblr’s in-house astrologer, Madame Clairevoyant, presents her latest dispatch from the stars:
Aries: This week, the sunlight and the starlight and the street lights are going to cast their beams right to the center of you, right to your quietest inner core. Watch what gets lit up inside of you, your best and kindest feelings. Be good to the parts of you that are tender. Try to spend time with animals and with trees and with people who make you think that everything will work out, that everything will be good. Listen to music in the car and roll down the window, just for a second, as if it were already spring.
Taurus: This week is for making choices, for being deliberate, for moving with all the purpose and awareness you can find inside yourself. This week is for finding things and moving things and making things. This week is for choosing the shape of your life, or for choosing the colors in your world, or for choosing the patterns that you want to guide you. Organize your bookshelves, rearrange your furniture, hang new pictures, cut your hair. Do whatever small things you can to remind yourself that your days and your life are your own.
Gemini: This week, your body’s going to quiver with a bright electrical energy; this week, your thoughts are going to fly and loop and race, hot and brilliant as the sun. This week, you might feel like you’re about to break open from all the light inside you. Don’t hold it in, don’t hide your power, just try to find spaces where you can be your bright whirling self. Spaces where you can move, spaces where you can make all the noise in the world, spaces where you can let this energy light up your whole sky.
Cancer: Even if it snows this week and even if it rains, even if it’s too cold to leave the house, this week you can get little wild, you can be unstoppable, you can be so free. This week is for making big movements and big changes, for doing things that make you scared, things that make your heart beat fast, things that make your eyes get wide and dreamy. This week is for pushing back, in small ways and bright ways, against a world that can get heavy, a world that can get cold. Read about magic, dream about new worlds.
Leo: This week, as you gaze up at the stars, as you breathe into the cool dark night, think about how much you’ve grown, think about all of the ways you’ve become strong, think of the ways you haven’t let yourself be wrecked by loneliness, by sorrow, by the whole harsh world. This week, honor the ways you’ve learned to get through, the ways you’ve learned to build magic inside your own heart. Hold on to these hot glowing powers, and keep going, and be kind. Pet a dog. Cook someone dinner.
Virgo: As you plan the days ahead, as you dream about the summer, as you imagine next year, and the one after that, the future will loom large, so near, so bright you can hardly see it. This week might overwhelm you with possibilities, with visions, with the different paths all stretching out before you, each one sweet and each one wild. It might get to be too much, it might make you want to scream, it might make you too scared to move. Just keep your eyes open. Listen to loud songs. Do what you can to keep moving anyway.
Libra: This week, do whatever you can to not get bored, to keep yourself busy, to keep your brain moving and your heart beating. This week, go places you’ve never been before. Use the muscles you didn’t know you had. Read books that open up new caverns of feeling inside of you, read books that make you feel braver than you’ve ever been. This week is for sleeping well and entering the world every morning with energy, with fire, with a light in your eyes, with a voice as clear as a bell.
Scorpio: This week, your world might feel so tangled, so wild, so full of knotted feelings and strange bright joys. It might feel great, it might catch you off guard, it might throw you off balance. It might help, as you navigate this week, to focus on being good to other people, to focus on being generous, to focus on being kind. Let your good feelings guide you. Watch all of your love moving out of you and moving back to you, watch the maps it can draw for you, watch the ways it can bind you to the world.
Sagittarius: This week’s going to be calm and this week’s going to be sweet to you, like a good dream, like a warm bath, like a quiet sunrise. It’s a week to move a little slowly, to rest, to sit around dreaming about the future, to sit around with people you love, all quiet and easy, just talking, just enjoying each other. Everything’s going to be okay, this week, and you can do what you want with it. The world is going to be gentle this week, and it’ll let you find the things you need most.
Capricorn: This week, the world around you is going to race, it’s going to glow, it’s going to shine. This week, the air around you are going to feel brighter than usual, clearer than usual; the roads in your town are going to show you new possibilities; the sky over your town is going to show you colors you’ve never seen before. This week, do things that will make you feel excited, do things that will make your world feel fresh and new, do things that will make your heart beat.
Aquarius: This week might be too big for you; this week might freak you out. This week you might find yourself getting scared of all the big things and big projects and big plans that are showing themselves to you, that live in your best dreams, that are just within reach. Do what you can not to feel afraid. Wear the clothes that make you feel brave. Try to open yourself up to these dreams, if you can. See what they can show you. Let them carry you to bright wild places. Let them carry you close to the sun.
Pisces: This week, do whatever you can to remind yourself how much and how deeply you belong only to yourself. Do what you can to remind yourself that you are human, that you’re real, that you are golden, that you’re the best. Do what you can to remember your own path, to remember your dreams, to remember that nobody in this world is allowed to make your life worse, nobody’s allowed to even touch you. Gather whatever you need to keep yourself strong, whatever you need to keep yourself warm, whatever fuel you need to keep moving.
Today’s image was made specially for Madame Clairevoyant by Jen May.