CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): "Ice cream is both innocent and erotic," writes Klintron on Technoccult.com. "Coffee promises to be both stimulating and relaxing." These examples illustrate the idea of "paradessence," or paradoxical essence, which was developed by Alex Shakar in his novel *The Savage Girl.* I suspect that you'll specialize in paradessence in the coming days, Capricorn. Will that make you feel tormented by crazy-making contradictions or will it excite you with an expanding sense of complex possibilities? It will be largely up to your intentions. Which would you prefer?

honestly, mr. brezsny, i prefer to look forward to an expanding sense of complex possibilities. as the Avatar of Twenty-Two Days of World Orgasm says, it's the 'and' that's important. things aren't one or the other, but both at the same time and it's the emphasis on the "and" that you gotta listen for.

like my job: i both love it and loathe it. i can't wait to be there, and can't wait to leave. it both disappoints me and cheers me up. it wasn't always this way; i used to adore my job. but i've come to find that the whirling dynamic of loving and loathing, uplifting and nauseating, energizing and resenting only thrusts me into a sharpened sense of awareness heretofore only experienced in the life-threatening fight-or-flight response. but this heightened awareness serves to bring to my attention aspects, attitudes, and possibilities i wouldn't have seen otherwise. i hear the other groomers talking and, because i'm detached from any caring about whether i keep my job or not, i can hear their patterns of belief that keep them mired where they are, keep them only reacting to their outside stimuli and allowing it to dictate how they're feeling instead of taking responsibility for it themselves. i can watch my day go by in a kind of detached amusement as their negativity, and the growing negativity of the entire store, makes me so sick i have to run to the bathroom five times a day.

i'm sick because it's so toxic there, but i'm amused because i know i won't be there for much longer. so i file it away for amusing stories later on.

my life: i both love it and know i can go so much higher.

kids: you know you love them and they drive you nuts sometimes.

family: you're a member of a similar group of people with their defining characteristics and you're an individual.

diet: i'm a vegetarian and i have nothing against meat. (yes, i make exceptions on special occasions)

writing: i'm an amateur on the outside and a professional Nebula/Andre Norton Award winner on the inside.

...the list goes on and on...

so...what are you and what are you?

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