Coffee Table-side Chat
I’ve been struggling with what to post on Instagram for a few days now, because I haven’t really been working that much. I tried to work like normal on Tuesday and it was like I was trying to swim through mud. All week, in fact, I’ve felt slow and sluggish and “lazy”. I know I’m programmed to think this way, I know that’s just capitalism’s dark grip telling me that even though we are experiencing something that no one alive ever has, we still have no excuse for being “unproductive”. But even as a radical, anti-capitalist witch, that pull is still really strong for me. Some things are just so deeply entrenched in us that it takes something like a worldwide pandemic to act as a mirror. I preach about the injustices of capitalism every day, and yet I couldn’t let go of my shame-fueled desire to WORK.
At the end of the day, not only am I trying to process a global calamity but I am also, fundamentally, the owner of a brick and mortar store that can not operate right now. WTF am I really supposed to do?! I mean, obviously we have the online shop, and you wonderful folx have been so generous that you’ve kept my staff busy packing orders (in isolation), and we have A LOT of projects in the works for offering more virtual content, workshops, etc, but still, ultimately the brick and mortar shop is the majority of the business. And so right now there’s just not a lot of business to do.
So I decided to slow down. I decided to tell my staff that once we’re caught up on orders, we’re going to scale back on packing so they can stay home more and be soft and safe. I decided that everything will happen right on time and there’s no need for me to push myself to nervous exhaustion right now.
But most importantly, I decided to watch Tiger King.
Now, I have many, many, MANY thoughts on Tiger King. Far too many to get into here. The point, though, is that I was transfixed and distracted and that alone felt really nice for an hour. So even tho it’s pretty tough to watch at times (CW for animal abuse), I’m still watching.
The real shift came last night when I decided to take on the daunting task of removing my own gel nail polish and giving myself a manicure. Something that in my twenties I did fairly often and well. Those were the days before gel polish, which now usually requires a professional to remove. But my friend Jeannie (The Beauty Mystic) posted a professional tutorial and despite failed attempts in the past, I did it. I sat at my kitchen island, I mindfully laid out all of my tools and supplies, and I took my time. The whole process took hours, because I had hours to give it. I watched three episodes of Tiger King while I worked, I forgot about my wife who was (and will be) no more than say, 20 feet? from me for however long this isolation lasts (she‘s not watching Tiger King) and I did a great job on my nails. It was maybe the most satisfying evening I’ve had in weeks.
This morning I’ve been thinking a lot about that feeling. Something about having hours to devote to a somewhat frivolous task has me shook, in a good way. I’ve really been thinking a lot about “The void” since this all began. So many things are uncertain. So many things are unknown. When will this be over? Will we ever go back to our lives in a way that resembles what they looked like before? Will our landlords make us pay rent? How can they, none of us have any money? Will we be better or worse when this is over? Will it be over?
Instead of giving in to the temptation of having fear and anxiety over these things, in my better moments my spirituality kicks in and I remind myself that surrender is the only option. “Give it to God” is what my parents would say in their Alcoholics Anonymous speak. All we can do is surrender to the void, and try to ride the waves as best we can. To stay present and not attached to outcome. I’m trying to make that the only thing I “have to do”. Everything else is optional and completely dependent on what my body and intuition deem to be within my bandwidth. If that means watching the rest of Tiger King instead of feeling pressure to work, I am going to try to do that.
Capitalism has failed us tremendously. Now I will fail it, unapologetically.
The world we knew will not be returning. There are just too many of us that can’t pay our rent. This morning I decided to pull some cards and thought maybe that would be something to post on Instagram. I used my wife’s trusty two-card spread. “What is my lesson for the day? What energy should I bring to the day?” I pulled the 8 of Wands and the 7 of Swords, two cards that don’t feel especially aligned with my present moment. My first instinct was “oh man, those aren’t interesting cards. It won’t make a good Instagram. Oh and my table is a mess and there’s no natural light coming in right now, ugh my house is so dark how am I gonna make content here for weeks? Ugh and my slippers are in the shot and they have bleach splotches on them and now everyone will know I’m not perfect!” BLAH BLAH BLAH.
I mean, what a joke. As if anyone thinks I’m perfect! LOL! Also, all of our tables are a mess. Also, our hair is going to be a mess. Our finances are going to be a mess. Everything is a mess who CARES?! That’s when I started channeling this very post.
Having the time and energy to write this and my Hearthside Chat from last week has felt really nice. I have been trying to write these types of posts all year and have been “too busy” doing busy-body things for the shop, obviously prioritizing the part of the business that makes the most money, but losing any sort of creative time for myself. I even tried, at the beginning of the year, to carve out a “sacred creative day” where the shop witches didn’t text me for stuff and I didn’t look at email and I just focused on feeding my creative life for the entire day. As the “creative director” of HausWitch, that makes sense right? Well it happened maybe once and never again.
As I write this I think “I’m settling into my new role…” which has actually been my role for years. Thank goddexx, for now I can keep paying my employees to do the work they can do, and I can finally start doing my own. I resisted the urge to carefully style this photo of my cards and even zoomed out to show more of the mess. Because its time to get honest and transparent, because transparency is liberation. So I’m listening to the new Waxahatchee album while I write, like I used to do back when HausWitch was just a bb blog and there was *only* time to be creative.
Last year when I was on the “Belonging Podcast” we talked about the work of helping people (and ourselves) “Unlearn and Re-Wild”. I’ve thought about that every day since and I think it’s truly what we’re all being called to do in this moment.
The moon is in Gemini and the Witches say “Talk to a mirror.”
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