Imagine a centuries-old ivy plant, growing wild with the names and knowledge of every possible Capricorn. There would be a leaf for Susan Sontag and Stephen Hawking, Donna Tartt and Sheila Heti, Jean Toomer and J.R.R. Tolkien. You could say to it, “Tell me about Yukio Mishima” or “What was Alan Watts really like?” and it would weave you a silver-tongued story. Like the sign itself, it would climb. It would defy gravity. It would possess a certain and undeniable beauty, especially in the winter.
A time of brightening days and new years, Capricorn season is one of great lengths and even greater goals. It is the season of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Greta Thunberg: the season of overcoming, of holding court. Capricorns are leaders just as they are ladder-climbers and nothing, whether it be freedom or fame, is out of their reach.
Being the cardinal earth sign of the zodiac, however, they are still their most rooted in the physical world. Bodily, obsessive, and often indelicate, their lot also includes the likes of Haruki Murakami, Simone de Beauvoir, J.D. Salinger, and Patti Smith. Not to mention Henry Miller, who said it best for all of them when he wrote, “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. In this state of god-like awareness one sings; in this realm the world exists as poem.”
Sarah J. Bofenkamp is a reader, writer, and librarian living in Palouse, Washington.
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