Moon in Virgo

My refuge, my sanctuary.

When Daddy Danny left us, Celia was inconsolable and resolute, the way she can be. In some ways she clung to me as all she had left of love and family. Still, she had, what I now realize, an acute awareness that I had my own issues of abandonment, anger, mixed with fear and loss. She wanted me to have my own space to work it out in, not entangled with her grief.

My mother is at heart a woman of the written word. Her safe haven and playland as a child was in books. In college she had concentrated on literature, with an ambition to teach as a college professor, something her public school teacher parents could view with pride. Even without the laudable career, she lived in a world of literature. To focus her mind and cope with emotional outrage she worked, reworked, never satisfied, on a poem she had started in college. I had been named for that obsession, a poem based on the myth of the Goddess Persephone. She is obviously a strong romantic archetype for Celia. Though, of course, her rational mind would never think of Goddess worship.

When I asked why she was always writing, sometimes sobbing or angry over the closely worded, scratched out and revised in margins, pages, she set her draft aside to answer. She pulled out of the desk drawer a fat spiral notebook and a plastic case of colored pens.

“I know it has become sad and confusing here since your daddy’s been gone. Sometimes it’s hard to talk about your feelings. It can help to write what you feel, even when there’s no one else around you have some place safe to open up and let out what you need to say. Try it.”

Even at 5 I had been reading and writing for as long as I could think about. These skills came naturally for me as walking and talking. Instinct from DNA? I liked fairytales and diverse myths from different cultures which I found in books laying about the house. I liked to write little doggerel verses, simple song lyrics, my mimicking of Danny’s craft. I took the gift, very seriously, and sat among the cushions in a corner of the room, playing at making words with different colors as I saw them in my mind. That notebook and its descendants have been my sanctuary, sounding board, never failing friend and companion. I get to focus the whirling storm of thought and emotion in my mind onto a magical manifestation of words on paper. Look, here, thoughts, feelings, spun out into a metaphoric web into which I safely let go. I soothe, energize, inspire myself with ramblings emerging from subconscious grappling with all the daily influences input into my senses, revelations made visible. Who needs drugs? (I mean other than for socializing or specific biological ends.)

I’m not the practical one. It’s Celia who has that Virgo critical breaking down of information skill to fall back on. I’m just a mass of Sagittarian fire, caught up in my enthusiasms of the moment. This notebook is my continuity, my exoskeletal structure, giving my bits and pieces a place to come together.

Thanks, mom, for this nightlight to watch over my dreams.