Every time someone tells me that Mercury is in retrograde, I wonder what I should be feeling. We are always looking for simple answers for our big emotions. We don’t want to feel them. We want to explain them and tuck them into neat boxes to be filed away later by an overzealous intern.
“Ahhhh yes, you’re feeling longing? File that under Mercury in retrograde.”
It’s just what we do. We want the illusion of order and the simplicity of categorization. When we are ill, we want medicine. When we feel big things, we want structure.
Feelings are chaos. We don’t like chaos. We’ve been told time and time again that chaos is bad. BAD chaos, BAD.
So the big things and the ugly things often get pushed under the beautiful area rugs in our mind. If it doesn’t fit, you must hide that shit.
I’m done with that part.
It was the end of the year at my new job. Students were leaving. Staff were leaving. There was exit and newness swimming in the air. There were tears and the emptying of desks and the changing of the guard. It was heavy on everyone’s shoulders.
Watching the timid steps of small feet mourning the loss of a teacher they loved or a desk they’d just grown used to. Or, the holding on so tightly to a woman who has put band-aids on their knees for over 7 years. Just another day. We weave in and out of each other’s lives.
It’s not seamless, but, we want it to be. We put our heads down when we cry. We wait until the last moments to wear our big feelings on our faces. We wait for an embrace before the flood gates open and we turn our insides out.
We are so ashamed of our sadness. We are so angered by our longing.
We wait until the last of all moments to say, “Thank you!” and, “I love you.” and, “I’m sorry.” and, “I’ll miss you.”
I watched the students linger in the hallways; holding papers and books close and tight to their chests. It was as if they were sure that if they moved their protective shields, their bare hearts would be exposed.
And I watched all of this unfold marveling at how much we all just need each other and how much we try to fight it.
Mercury may be in retrograde, but, that’s not why our bare hearts are hanging out.
I love you. I’m sorry. I’ll miss you. Thank you.
I’m not waiting until the bitter end to say it.