When everything breaks down there’s that much more time to ponder the universe

I’m busy now. In a good way. I’ve got a mix of client-work, self-generated stuff, shows to produce, gigs to perform in, and work opportunities aligning themselves on the horizon. It’s all looking pretty decent in the short-term, and at least that good in the medium-term.


In practice however, this period of deadlines and heavy activity has coincided with some major technical issues: my new laptop doing an extended stint in the shop, my old laptop barely hanging on, a smartphone that’s reverting itself back to dumbphone, and my wife’s iPad that won’t stay connected to the internet.

Individually any one of those things would be fine. Annoying, yes, but not much more.

Business paralysis
But collectively, it means that I’m at a near standstill. Emails, writing tasks (even simple ones) have been left too long, and things (critical things like invoices) are piling up. Deadlines have been missed. Communications-wise I’m the walking wounded.

The worst stretch has been the past couple weeks. All my routines have been abandoned, and I’ve been scrambling. It’s frustrating as hell. It’s also, for someone who often works at home alone during the week, lonely, even alienating.

While lamenting this situation the other day, a friend nodded sagely and mentioned that Mercury is retrograde. I didn’t know what that means – astronomically or astrologically. So I checked.

Order in my chaos
Turns out my problems aren’t so isolating at all; in fact, they’re aligned with cosmic forces, and universal, both figuratively and literally. Mercury in retrograde is when the planet Mercury appears to be moving backwards. It’s an optical illusion, like the moonwalk.

This period is associated with communications problems, computers and phones get messed up, important decisions should be deferred.

That’s what’s happening to me! I’ve never been into astrology (or astronomy, really) but the situation in my life right now makes much more sense when viewed through this cosmic lens.

I don’t feel so alienated by these problems anymore; now it just seems like part of the natural order of things. And maybe it’s time for me to reflect and ponder – which is what this period is good for.

Of course that warm sense of calm is tempered by the fact that all my technological work and communication devices are broken or breaking.

But still, misery loves company, and a lull in productivity loves the sense that there is meaning to it – or the cause for it – lurking in the cosmos.