It’s a pure pleasure to cross this annual divide this year, a year when that goal has been in question… not for me personally, but collectively for all of us. This year we all have found ourselves dealing with more risk — noticeable, undeniable, seemingly unavoidable risk — in our lives.

There are those who are vehemently denying the risk, but… sometimes the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Sometimes the loudest voices hide the biggest fears.

A lot of people are afraid — and fear makes us do weird shit. We deny there is a problem at all. We find something else to fret about that isn’t as scary but is really bizarre. We make the unreal very real in our minds. We point fingers at others, convincing ourselves that they are the problem. We have zero patience and no grace, striking out at friends and family who don’t agree with us. Fear takes us over and remakes us into something we don’t like very much.

But… even in the midst of the trauma, tragedy, fear, upheaval, and upset, we need to go on. Sometimes, as we try to navigate our days, burdened with increasing anxiety and uncertainty — for ourselves and for our beloveds — we don’t know where our next step will take us. We close our eyes and move forward, trying to find some sort of hope for the future. We try not to hollow ourselves out, try not to have the meltdown of all meltdowns. We stare off into the distance for indeterminate moments, lost inside our own minds. We cry ourselves to sleep, trying to stay strong enough to keep going, for ourselves and the ones who depend on us. We worry ourselves sick. We give up and say what the fuck, and fuck it.

Then we pick ourselves back up off the floor and go on. Day-by-day, moment-by-moment, we walk the path in front of us.

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I’ve discovered that I can decide how I’m going to move forward through all this. I have decided that I need to be more gentle with myself and those around me, but far more fierce about what’s right and what’s wrong. While people who piss me off with their obtuseness and their resistance to learning anything about what’s really going on need some grace from me, I can’t keep ignoring things. I need to use my voice for whatever good I can achieve in and for the world. I don’t have a big reach, a big platform, a huge following… but I’ll use what I have to share ideas, love, resources, and as good of cheer as I can find, every day. I’ll do my research, I’ll do the work, and then I’ll share it with anyone who wants it. I’ll lean on y’all and y’all can lean on me. I’m not into pyrrhic victories, I’m not into battles at all… I’m not going to tilt away at things I can’t control or even affect. But I will say what I think needs said.

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I’ve also discovered the Ace of Cups; a story all about validation, renewal, and unexpected, unlooked-for opportunity. And no, I’m not talking about Tarot card readings — I’m talking about the 1967 female rock band, Ace of Cups.

The Ace of Cups was very successful in San Francisco in the late 1960s, playing with and opening for the likes of Jefferson Airplane, the Band, the Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendricks. But, stymied by being unable to get a record contract, they dissolved the band after 4 years and went their own ways. They stayed in touch, stayed friends, and continued with their own musical careers in other ways. Then, in 2017, 50 years after they first roamed Haight-Ashbury making music, the universe conspired to bring them back together and get them making music together again. The changes in the music industry over the years opened up a whole different future for them. You should see these 70-plus-year-old women rocking it with voices and energy and sass that you’d swear was channeled straight from the youngsters they were 50 years ago.

So, my birthday present to myself is going to be their 2018 eponymous debut studio album — The Ace of Cups. You should listen to them with me!

And actually…

The Ace of Cups Tarot card seems to nicely fit into all of this too. The card has a hand emanating from the clouds holding out a cup overflowing with pure water. It invites us to have a sip, to take a drink, to guzzle down this goodness. Doing so is said to bring you overflowing joy.

Now, I’m not into Tarot (although I have had a reading done, mostly from curiosity), but I’m all for finding joy in our lives. Especially these days.

Peace and love my friends, peace and love!
Be well and do good things.
Drink up all the goodness you can,
And pass that cup around!


[Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash]