Wearing the Year Loosely

Of the character Vera in SAVING FISH FROM DROWNING, Amy Tan writes:

“Since turning 50 ten years ago, she had decided that her usual garb should be no less comfortable than what she wore to bed.”

YES! I thought when I read that. Exactly! But I wasn’t necessarily thinking about clothing…

Nor was St. Francis of Assisi when he suggested we “Wear the world as a loose garment, which touches us in a few places and there lightly.”

I’ve decided that this should be my modus operandi for the coming year: to move about in the world more freely, as if in loose garb.

More breath. And ease of movement.

Fewer expectations. Less fear.

Less rabid dog on a bone it’s time to put down.

More laughter. More play.

As if to support this resolution-in-the-making, Rob Brezsny’s ASTROLOGY NEWSLETTER arrived promptly on January 1st. In his treatise for 2019, he writes:

You don’t have to be anything you don’t want to be. You don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations. There’s no need to strive for a kind of perfection that’s not very interesting to you. You don’t have to believe in ideas that make you sad or tormented, and you don’t have to feel emotions that others try to manipulate you into feeling.

In my dreams, I am obliterating delusions that keep you moored to false idols. I am setting fire to the unnecessary burdens you lug around. And I am tearing you away from the galling compromises you made once upon a time to please people who don’t deserve it.

But it’s actually a good thing I can’t just wave a magic wand. Here’s a much better solution: YOU will clarify your analysis of the binds you’re in, supercharge your willpower, and set yourself free.

And you WILL purchase brightly-colored, flowy kaftans to wear around the house.

Ok, no, Rob did not write that part, but…perhaps a brightly-colored, flowy kaftan is exactly what is called for as we step lithely into the new year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friends—may it be loose, light, and comfortable.


BONUS: Also from Rob Brezsny, consider these questions yourself:

  1. What outlandish urges and controversial tendencies do you promise to cultivate in the coming months?
  2. What nagging irritations will you ignore and avoid with even greater ingenuity?
  3. What problems do you promise to exploit in order to have even more fun as you make the status quo accountable for its corruption?
  4. What boring rules and traditions will you thumb your nose at, paving the way for exciting encounters with strange attractors?
1. Essay ©2019, Jen Payne. 2. Image: Small Odalisque in Purple Robe, by Henri Matisse. 3. Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan should be on your To Read list. 4. Rob Brezsny is a genius and you should subscribe to his Astrology Newsletter. 5. Click here for more about Loose Garments.

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