Two women I know who don’t go for hocus-pocus told me recently, “Mercury is in retrograde” to explain a current period of crap-ola in the lives of everyone they know.
The first person mentioned it as a way of forgiving me my forgetting that we had a meeting that morning. Mercury’s retrograde, in that instance, did me a service by creating instant forgiveness and understanding.
The second person mentioned it this morning at the gym. Before you get the wrong idea about me and the gym, let me set the scene. Our gym is the YMCA, small and beloved, a far cry from fancy schmancy. And while my friend is strong and disciplined, I was there for a whopping 15 minutes. Walking on the treadmill. (But at least on an incline, with 3-pound weights in each hand for a little oomph.)
“How are you?” we asked each other. “How’s work, the family, everything?”
“Good,” we responded, but our faces begged for a truth-serum follow up. My “good” in answer to her “how are things” was not a hollow, reflexive attempt to deceive or to be shallow, but a commitment not to dwell on what’s not good, to convince myself that, actually, everything that truly matters is fine, or will be fine. Because it’s got to be.
“Well, you know,” she said, “I don’t believe this stuff but I’ve heard Mercury is in retrograde…” Her face said that whatever havoc Mercury can wreak was present in her life. “But wait until Friday. I’ve heard everything gets better then.”
I don’t actually believe our solar system’s alignment can curse or bless our moods, actions, words. But I can observe this: there seems to be something in the air. People are in a funk. Earth herself is hellaciously moody, storming and burning mad.
I’m doing what I can until Friday. Wearing pink. And a dress. Taking walks. Trying to let the excuse of “Mercury” make my forgiveness more forthcoming, like my friend.
And holding on until Friday. It all gets better then.