Контент 18+ Astrology has its place, we know, and many people devote much energy and attention to absorbing what their individual sign predicts. I even have a student-friend who is a serious and well-paid journalist, and whose wife is 100% engrossed in astrology, studying it as a future career (though doing exactly what and for how much money I am not sure.) I take it that she has been equally engrossed in similar ventures in the past.
“I am Taurus the Bull. What are You? Do you think we can have a relationship?” That’s about as far as I ever got with astrology. Kind of an early-stage pussy-seeking gambit.
In Russia, I get the feeling that most people don’t take astrology very seriously (it tends to go in the same bucket as global warming and recycling), but that is not to say that the nation lacks devotees. What I mean is that in America, people start conversations with new prospects by saying things like, “Hi, I’m Eric. You are…(Whoever). Cool. So what sign are you? (Can we have a relationship?)” In Russia, no.
The fact is that astrology was once practiced with such grave solemnity that mighty kings and queens would consult the court astrologers in earnest in order to find out whether the impending baby would turn out to be a boy or a girl. There is no better example that Henry the 8th, whose frantic, head-hacking antics (two wives with their loaves chopped off) were motivated largely by his (futile) obsession with producing a male heir. (The only one he came up with was a priggish snot-nose who died before he could take over the reins of the realm.) But Henry never lost faith in his astrologers, much less consigned them to the axe.
Of course, we have elaborate maps of the heavens to this day provided by our friendly, neighborhood astrologers who rent their stalls and booths right next to the fortune-tellers and clairvoyants. You won’t find me there, but hey, like the old Sheryl Crow song goes, “If it makes you h-a-p-p-y…!”
So today, while I was walking my dogs under a semi-downpour of gray, grimy, grainy rain here in the village, I got the idea of writing about the Month of March. This is because, although we all have our personal astrological signs (“Hi, I am Eric, I am Taurus…?”), the fact remains that we must all endure the twelve months together. So, I came up with this idea (do I have too much time on my hands, or what?) of trying to decide which month of the year most fully captures the condition (or plight, if you will) of the human race. In other words, which month most resembles humanity?
January, with all its gifts and toasts and new resolutions? May or June, so full of green joy and hope, young brides (that in the past were virgins dancing around the maypole) celebrating with their new husbands in emerald parks and on silver bridges?
I say it is March. March is the most human month.
Of course, all bets are off if we speak of Thailand, for example, or maybe Australia, where the seasons of the year act in reverse to those in America, Europe, and Russia. So let’s stick to what we know.
OK, let’s get the venom out first. In my opinion, March is the worst month of the year. I feel this way because, not only was March always terrible weather-wise while I was living in Moscow (and proving to be almost as bad here in Bliznatsi, Bulgaria), but it is also crammed-full of false promises. In Russia, the first day of March is also the first day of spring (In the USA it comes later) But there is no spring. Only the IDEA of spring.
The human heart, finally rid of the creaking, spare, icy skeleton of old February, sighs with relief and the heart beats loudly. SPRING !! Many times, I muttered this under my breath (“Spring ! Spring!”) as I marched (pun intended) through the March rains to my classes all over Moscow. I would gaze up at the Moscow sky in search of a ray of sunlight.
But sun there was not. And the rain would not stop. Yet…unlike in February, in March I always HOPED the rain would stop. And sort of expected it to, even when it most implacably didn’t. And wouldn’t.
The key was the hope involved. In February, hoping for anything besides more darkness was a waste of time…
Human beings are always making promises and (often false) new starts. People dream the dream (like the song from the musical “Les Miserables”), and most of these dreams come to nothing. But that doesn’t stop people from dreaming, and I applaud it.
Many great dreams grow out of our darkest moments. Many future saints found their guiding light in the darkest dungeons.
Here is Bliznatsi, which is a southerly place, after all, we have been tantalized by a few sunny days, followed, as now, by a wall of rain, swirling winds, and mist down in the meadow. So I keep taking off my coat and putting it back on. And since I am a 69-year-old child, I recently bought a heavy punching bag and a new bicycle to improve my fitness. To ring in the spring, as it were.
Other people my age may want funeral plots and laxatives, but I want TOYS !!!
But now it is raining again.
We bivouacked all winter in our glowing rooms while frost gathered outside. Eventually, the spring WILL come, and it will be time to renew our vows, for many to marry, and for the corn and wheat to grow in the fields, and for old men to imagine they are young again.
But for now, we must bear the temporary disappointments of the false spring.
Isn’t that the human condition?
A long bitter-cold trek in the rain, the remnants of war smoking behind us, as we trudge on, carrying with us the vision of a well-lit cabin somewhere up ahead, where love and happiness are waiting with smiles of benediction? Isn’t that what we are really about? Not the actual getting there….but the going?
Therefore, I expect that soon I will be digging in and throwing left hooks and right crosses at the big punching bag and cruising through the village on my bright new bike. Waving at the villagers, even the gypsies, as I go, while the new village girls come walking out of the darkness and flowers gather around them.
Or maybe I will have a massive heart attack and become a corpse before I hit the ground. Who knows?
But now it is March and I am too busy dealing with the wind and rain to care much about ultimate outcomes. It’s enough just to be alive. As the Italian song goes “Soffro un po’, ma almeno io vivo !” (I suffer a little but at least I
===Eric Richard Leroy===