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Ask Baba Yaga: I Recently Had a Personal Revelation But Don't Know What to Do With It

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

Some things happened recently that cracked my conceptions of the world and myself wide open. Now I feel the push to do something about it, but I feel like I'm in a blindingly bright room and all I can see is the back of my eyelids. What's a person to do when everything is so illuminated that you can't even see where you're going?

BABA YAGA:

It is not ( the room that is brightest, but yr eyes that have known only darkness. ; Waking up morningly you are sightless first, & then yr eyes grow stronger. After some stumblings, the world around you will show its terrain, & you will see what is to be done.

 

Previously: How Can I Stop Thinking About This One Person I'll Never Actually Get With?

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Stop Thinking About This One Person I'll Never Actually Get With?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

How do I stop spending too much time and energy worrying over someone I will probably never be with?

BABA YAGA:

You cannot choose the fly that mucks up yr stew, but you can choose to throw the pot out the window. ;Throw it joyously–then go picking strange & goodly fruits to make a sweet new pot, & let yrself wander free into new gardens & tarry long. You have been too much , forlornly

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Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Open Up to People About a Recent Crisis That Feels Too Big?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

I went through an incredibly rough couple of months recently, and (mostly) managed to make it out the other side; but now I feel weirdly incapable of talking about my own life. How do I open up to people again after spending so much time alone in my crisis? What would I even share? It seems like all I have inside these days are things that are too small to be worth saying, and things that are much too big to be said.

BABA YAGA:

) After a great famine, what lives inside a house is mice & shadows., & while the house is shut, nothing but scratchings & dooms do walk & dwell. But open the door & other creatures shall ; walk in & fill the rooms, & light eclipse the shadows. & truly it is to know that many houses are near empty without famine, so shame you not.

Previously: "How Can I Be Myself in a Place I Hate?"

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Be Myself In a Place That I Hate?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

READ MORE

Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Get Over the Shame I Feel For My Work?

Transcript after the jump. READ MORE

Ask Baba Yaga: How Do I Overcome the Intense Insecurity I Feel Around My Best Friend?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

How I do overcome the intense insecurity I feel around my best friend? Now in our late 20s, we've been friends since middle school and she has always been smarter, funnier, more successful, and more interesting than me. When we are with other people, I feel myself fade into the background. She has always been such a wonderful friend to me, but I've poisoned our friendship with my own self-doubt. Why can't I find my own path?

BABA YAGA:

Every-one of us recedes into the background in the presence of ; another . Yr friend too has moments of murkiness–in a forest, the same tree will look to be behind or in front of another depending on where you stand in the path. ) & yr path is always yr own, so do not search for it tearfully ; & when day turns to night we all stand together in the dark, & the darkness is what we feel most . not who is in front of us or behind.

 

Previously: "Am I Still Friends With a Person If I Don't Respect Her Anymore?"

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

 

Ask Baba Yaga: Am I Still Friends With a Person If I Don't Respect Her Anymore?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

I have a friend who I've lost respect for. Her negativity, untrustworthiness, passivity, anger, arrogance and refusal to listen have chipped away at me for months to the point where I spend a lot of time talking badly about her to my other friends, fuming and becoming increasingly snide to her. But I know that makes me a terrible friend. I've forgotten why we became friends, although there are quieter "better" moments when we're laughing over a shared interest. What do I do?

BABA YAGA:

The bones ; of yr friendship are buried deep in the silt of the riverbed , & you stand with yr feet in the sludge. )Do not be angry with yrself for getting dirty, as you will only smear more mud all over yr limbs. Perhaps once water rushes through the riverbed fully again, the bones will surface ; but for now, what you stand in is no longer a river.

 

Previously: "I've Got This One Physical Feature That I Fear Makes Me Look Grotesque"

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

 

Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Get Over the Fear That This One Physical Feature Makes Me Look Grotesque?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

While I’ve come to mostly accept the body I was born with and use for loving, working, and playing, I can’t help but feel uneasy about one physical feature. It’s not quite a hunchback, but my shoulders are fleshy and my back has a roundness below my neck. When I catch glimpses of my posture in windows or mirrors, I’m always surprised and disappointed. How can this be me? I stretch and do yoga, but I’m afraid it’s not enough to keep me from growing into a grotesque old woman. What should l do?

BABA YAGA:

) All mirrors tell the wrong story . Your cloak-hem has already brushed the ink-pool that mars all of us; the marring of being not as we thought we were. I sit at my mirror daily & make loud laughter, inking my brows & lips with the mar-muck–then I step : through the glass to glimpse other Sights. You have ) made a loveliness of yr body through the moving of it, & the mirror is a false confidant. Evermore, to be as I am is an honor & a magic.

Previously:: "I Got What I Wanted, So Why Do I Feel Hollow?"

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

True Summer

Last summer, I found myself dead broke. I’d had a wild spring, horribly mismanaging my healthy grad school stipend, and came out of the whirlwind with just enough money to make rent until the fall. Following panicked and useless attempts at finding a summer job, I resigned myself to scraping by on credit cards (and, shamefully, borrowing money from my parents). All this made me feel terribly dumb (I was twenty-five, for chrissakes) and a little scared. But! I was newly in love, and that, along with all that impoverished time on my hands, made it a magical, if twisted, summer. I wandered through the streets, lovesick and feeling vaguely homeless, barely more equipped to afford any of the goods around than the vagrants, with whom I felt an uneasy kinship. I made weird concoctions in my house—pasta plus beans for lunch, stale crackers topped with Hershey’s syrup for dessert. Every time I walked to the grocery store, I passed a stream sprouting enormous, tall yellow flowers from its banks—it seemed completely improbable that this heat could produce such splendor, and the vision contributed to my sense of being on the fringes of sanity. Most of my friends had gone elsewhere for the summer, so my future fiancé was essentially the only person I ever saw. I woke up at strange hours and usually started my day by sitting on the floor half-naked, zoning out, the blinds shut. I wrote a cycle called The Bubonic Love Poems of Central Texas in which I set my new relationship in the landscape of the medieval plague, which is how it felt, and began communing with Baba Yaga. I felt deranged, certainly, but also thankful in a way—grateful to feel like a kid again, finding herself in another slow, stupid summer, when the world gets small and the self gets big, and time and space warp. READ MORE

Ask Baba Yaga: I Got What I Wanted, So Why Do I Feel Completely Hollow?

Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

The thing I thought I wanted in life now leaves me hollow. How can I find what will give my life meaning? Am I destined to be let down no matter what?

BABA YAGA:

You are not some ; squirrel, hoarding up, filling  the hollow–you are not simply a creature going after one morsel and then another and another until death hollows you out, endingly.  Morsels always empty. But so much more churns in you than desire , desire : which is only one of the movements of yr blood. The bone & flesh of you has much to say about being.

Previously: "What Is Even the Fucking Point?"

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.