Greetings everyone and welcome to the July bulletin and our summery sign of Cancer! And if you live in New York, as I do, you definitely know that summer has indeed arrived – temperatures here have been in the 90’s for days and days and tomorrow promises to hit the 100-degree mark! Thank goodness for the AC, although I must admit I am dreading my next Con-Edison bill, which will probably be double what I usually pay! So what’s our theme for this month? I decided to go with Home. The sign of Cancer is all about our home, our family and our upbringing. The mother’s job is to take care of the children and in order to do that she creates a “home” for the family to feel comfortable and safe in. Notice that the symbol for this sign is the crab, a creature that literally carries its home on their back, and protects the precious cargo inside with a tough, impenetrable shell. Key word here is ‘impenetrable,’ because as much as the Cancer takes care of other people, they are very protective of their own feelings, and avoid letting anyone see that vulnerable side of themselves, because once you break through that hard shell, they have no defenses! Cancer is literally driven by their emotions. If they don’t ‘feel’ it – it simply isn’t happening!
The sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon. And, as I was writing this article, I looked out of my window and saw the beautiful big shining Moon, hanging up there in the night sky right between the buildings. The Moon is connected with your moods, and just as the ocean’s tides come in and go out, so do the moods of the Cancer. They don’t call it “mood swings” for nothing, and watch out, because they can come at you sideways if you’re not careful!
“South America Taking a Break” from Einat Imber: “Continental Drift”
Photo by Louisa J. Curtis
Now, while we’re on the subject of carrying one’s home on one’s back and coming at you sideways, that transitions us nicely to Israeli artist Einat Imber’s installation “Continental Drift” that Michelle Bogre and I stumbled upon a couple of months ago at the A.I.R. Gallery in Dumbo whilst we were walking the press previews of the NYPH’12. From the gallery website and press release: “Continental Drift” features six tortoises, roaming haphazardly through a natural habitat contained within a globe-shaped structure. As in a museum diorama, a panoramic landscape is painted on the inner walls, continuing the topography of rocks, dirt and plants that cover the ground. Each tortoise carries on its back a model of one of the earth’s continents, resuming its mythical role of bearing the world atop its round shell.” So at any given moment when you viewed the installation you might see North America taking a break from South America, or Australia nudging Europe. At first I was concerned for the welfare of the tortoises (!) but then I thought the idea was pretty cool really. To see more about the artist, visit – http://www.einatimber.com/
You may recall in the January Capricorn bulletin I talked about the five major circles of Latitude, and how the Northern and Southern Hemispheres relate to the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis – and now six months and six signs later sitting opposite Capricorn, we have Cancer, and we’re dealing with Continental Drifts! How perfect is that? And, speaking of Continental Drift, there just so happens to be a new animated movie out right now called Ice Age 4: Continental Drift – I had to mention it, especially when I saw the posters and the trailers and “Holy Crab!” I mean, come on, how perfect is that for timing?
Mum on the beach in Portugal, c. the late 1980’s
Photo by Louisa J. Curtis
And while our goat is hanging on to the edge of that craggy cliff, the crab connects us now to the seaside and cliffs of a different kind. My Mum was a Cancer and she loved the seaside. I’ve told you before about her Boxing Day (December 26th) picnics atop the cliffs as we munched on our leftover turkey sandwiches and watched the cold, wintry swell. While in the summertime, she could be found swimming in either the dirty gray sea, also known as the English Channel, or in one of the local gravel pits (lakes) with her friend Brigit. She had a penchant for swimming where it was dangerous. One time we were on a family vacation in Portugal and I was concerned that the water was too rough for her. Did she listen? Of course not. She went in when I wasn’t looking and got herself into trouble, but thankfully nothing too serious happened and she escaped potential tragedy. She was lucky because the ocean can be both dangerous and unforgiving.
Red Cliffs in Portugal, c. the late 1980’s
Photo by Louisa J. Curtis
Mum also swam at her local indoor pool when she was still working and would literally fit in a almost-daily swim on her lunch-hour, she was that committed, and then she would eat her sandwich in the car before rushing back to the doctor’s surgery for her afternoon shift. She became a firm fixture at the “leisure club” and enjoyed her group of swimming buddies there. One year the club organized a sponsored swim and my mother not only participated but she swam 100 lengths of the pool – which was a lot! Go Mum! She definitely deserved a large gin and tonic after that, and knowing her, she probably had one (or two!). Speaking of one or two, or rather more than two, when we were cleaning out her house after she died, we found more bathing suits than the entire Olympic team put together! She couldn’t bear to throw any of her old ones away, but at the same time, would quite happily continue to purchase new ones!
Much like my mother, I have become a regular at my own local pool, especially in the summer when the open-air pool is available. It definitely makes me feel just about as good as this little boy does in his pool! I may be a stronger swimmer than my mother, but her love of the water ran deep, it was simply part of her chemical make-up. For me, swimming is not only a great form of exercise, but it is also like a meditation. After a certain number of laps, I find myself getting in the zone and then it’s hard for me to stop. When I first learned how to swim I was quite scared of the water, and deep water is still not my favorite thing, but after a lower back injury when I was a teenager, the doctors recommended that I swam, and so I did. One day while I was living in Paris, I was swimming at a very old indoor public pool, it was a hidden treasure that someone had told me about and I was enjoying the opportunity to stretch out my body in the water. After I had finished my swim and was on my way back to the changing room, this elderly lady who had been secretly observing my workout stopped me and expressed that it had been a “plaisir” watching me swim. I have never forgotten her lovely compliment.
Andy Murray in 2012 Wimledon Championships tennis tournament at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 8, 2012.
© Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
From the CBS news website
So last month I talked about the Queen’s Jubilee Thames River Pageant with all of the boats (and rain!) and now this month, it’s all about Wimbledon (and more rain!) I am a big tennis fan and always look forward to this annual “fortnight” of tennis. This year, Andy Murray (fellow Scot) finally made it to the Men’s Finals for the 1st time (yeah!) to play against one of the all-time greats Roger Federer. Andy Murray (the poor lad) has been carrying the hefty weight of an entire nation on his shoulders for a while now, as there hasn’t been a British winner on the lawns since Fred Perry 76 years ago in 1936, while Bunny Austin was the last Brit to reach the final in 1938! The media frenzy has been enormous and ticket sales have literally gone through the roof – yes, that nice new very expensive roof that has enabled them to actually stay on schedule even with all of the typical rain delays. For Andy Murray – talk about pressure – but whoever wins, history will certainly have been made. And although Andy managed to break Bunny’s record, it was Roger Federer, the man with the experience who ultimately won the battle by earning his 7th Wimbledon title. After the match, an emotional Murray struggled to speak, but finally he said, “I’m getting closer.” And that he is.
In closing, Home can mean different things to different people. Be sure to check out my ChatterCorner article this month in which I talk with Fine Art photographer Justine Reyes about her project, “Home, Away From Home.” I’m sure most of you have heard of the saying “Home is where the Heart is” and ironically or not, our next month’s sign, Leo is the sign that rules the heart! So what does Home mean for you? Where do you call Home? For some people, work is more of a home than where they actually lay their head or live. For many years I would talk about “going home” to visit my family because that’s where I grew up and where they all lived, so I still thought of it as my home, my roots. But it wasn’t until quite recently that I started to see that Home is where you live now, not back then. I went and saw my Mum at her house, the one she lived in for 40 years, but that wasn’t ‘my’ house, it was ‘hers.’ My house is a tiny little apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City.
And as always, we wish all of you Cancers out there a very Happy Birthday!