Moon in Scorpio

October snow on Tom’s birthday away from me. How romantically poetic! Celia, Pandora and I, warm and cozy, drink luscious cocoa (well, not Pandora) and watch the early winter surprise. It’s like a reprise of those special snow days when Celia’s office and my school both closed, though the snow is nowhere near such conditions. In those days it was an unexpected holiday. What do they do for that special time in places where it doesn’t snow? Monsoon or tornado days don’t seem so peacefully picturesque.

On a whim, I put on a Christmas music cd. Christmas, at least in America, is a secular celebration. No need to be Christian to get sentimental about these old tunes. I felt like a Hallmark card cozied up with Mom and Pandora wrapped in soft warm afghan smelling of childhood, with hot drinks, safe from the wintry world.

We never went in for all the bright lights and decorations. We enjoyed the simple elegance and wonderful woodsy aroma of each year’s fresh cut tree picked carefully from the tree farm. Once it became brittle and lifeless sometime in January, we would solemnly, carefully, burn the remains and thank the tree for its gracious visit. For an atheist, Celia has amazing awareness of the sacred, of the life-force of nature. She never cared for arrangements of picked flowers, but requires living flowering plants in her everyday ambiance.

I sent Tom a commemorative collage of homemade poetry and borrowed pictures (because my attempts at drawing express nothing but my maladroitness), carefully arranged in an email message to express love, admiration, adoration. I know he will appreciate the gesture. He has told me he doesn’t like fussing over his birthday because it usually is so contrived. I gather there was a lot of attention to form and little to substance in his home (or, rather, homes) when he was growing up. His parents travelled a lot and dumped Tom and his older brother Ty in boarding schools and camps, but sometimes brought the boys along if that was the current whim. Growing up rich is not necessarily as much fun as one might imagine. Through all that he somehow became a romantic and lover of substantive expression. He can be a severe, consummately fair critic of my work, of any artwork he notices. He fully acknowledges, appreciates, admires when it comes out right, when the art works, expresses exquisitely. So, no lazy good enough when the work is meant for him. I put in full concentration, focus, emotion, and practiced restraint. Capture the essence, make it sing as if angelic choir. Celia was happy to give me the concentration space, and to listen intently and respond with insight based on her wisdom and love as I bubbled over babbling about him and how well we fit. She is happy for my special extra glow, warmly encourages me to talk and talk in the way the presence of that glow turns my words into a magical litany. The ebullient wealth of my feelings shines in her sharing of my glow.

What is wealth? I have no interest in wasting my time accumulating money. That doesn’t mean I am not motivated to work. I am driven to work for the intrinsic values of the product and the work itself, to myself and my community. Given the opportunity, we seem to each have work that is intrinsic to our life. Jobs done with a passion, out of enlightened self-interest or fascination with the project or the pleasurable stretch of effort are jobs better done and lives better lived. Money has no intrinsic value at all. It is not an effective noun, but a verb, a symbol of action. It only gains value by being exchanged for valuable goods and services. The producers of goods and services are the nation’s valuable assets. Money is a myth, a hypnotic suggestion used to enslave. The system gets fixed so people feel helpless to provide for our needs without selling out our lives for a monetary wage. Who do we think are those who provide these necessities? We could be doing even better work providing better lifestyle options, more fulfilling and comfortable lives, by turning our understanding and attitude in more self-loving and community appreciating directions. All those experts talking in self-defining convoluted language, sniping out their petty differences or insisting on their agreed upon models and theories, we allow them to make the frames as if they really were elite. Economics is simple, trade so we can each do our calling and have what we need to be healthy and productive. Sharing makes us all wealthier, not hoarding or enslaving. It’s all a matter of what we invest our wealth in — our time, talent, skill, energy, ideas, joy.

I send you a wish wrapped in a deeply imagined kiss, dearly loved Tom, for many magical wonder-filled Solar Returns. I know nothing bought with money would possibly thrill you more.