One relies on the little things to keep from going insane. They say writing is like being underwater, and when you come up for air well, then, you're back in the real world. But for me it's the opposite. When writing, everything is clear, so clear it's like sailing with perfect winds on a sunny day and you never lose sight of the mainland. Hackneyed but true so bear with me. But when I come out of it...everyone's voices are muddled, the dogs barking and the cars whooshing past are fuzzy at best, the smallest movements seem to occur under a slow-motion weight. Like being thrown underwater. Like drowning.

It took me almost too long to realize I need a buffer of time between when I finish writing and when I interact with the world, or else I feel like I'm going crazy. An hour or two of silence, tea, a movie, a cocktail, a walk. Simple things. And then there are the events upon which I can rely in a chaotic world.

For instance, today is Imbolc, which is a Pagan celebration of bringing light into the dark winter and welcoming the promise of the coming spring. We light a few candles in our house and let them burn through the night.

Today is also the Super Bowl. I won't be watching. The Twitter feed is enough to know it still exists. I love the Red Sox and the Bruins even though I don't live in New England, and people assume I love the Pats. Football really isn't my thing anymore. Only so many sports to watch. But at least it's there.

Today is also the delivery of monthly horoscopes. My grandmother raised me on horoscopes. I've got 20 years worth of planetary transits burned under my skin. What's to come. Let me tell you what's to come. You'll be tried, you'll be tested, you'll have moments when you think you know everything and you're standing on top of that dirt pile and you're holding the rocks in your hand, looking down at the other kids who finally see the power within you. Other times you'll be staring up at someone else who was crowned king of the hill and you will want to be happy for them but you won't be. And other times it'll rain so hard no one will be able to play or fight. Let me tell you exactly what will happen in February: I don't know. I need these little things to give me some sort of concrete sign.