Life in the western world is ordered by the sun: our clocks, calendars and seasons all are calibrated by our heliocentric orbit. But there is another rhythm in our universe, an older way of measuring time: the pulse of the moon. Aligning my life with that beat has provided me with profound, ethereal experiences.
The most enduring relationship in my life is with the moon. There. I’ve admitted it. I’m a lunatic.
But what’s the point of telling you about my life if I’m not candid? No month in my memory has passed without a stimulating dialogue with the moon. There. Another admission. She talks back to me. Or perhaps a better way to put it would be, she responds to me.
I told you I was a lunatic. I want you to understand my attraction.
The moon is alive. She has moods. She is a siren, a tease. This is not pathetic fallacy or anthropomorphism. She is real. She is always there.
Sometimes I think about moving to a desert just so I can be with her most of my nights. But I can’t do that; I couldn’t survive the days in the desert. I suppose if I was a truly dedicated lover I would become purely nocturnal and never bother with daylight. I am already pale enough. I don’t have the melanin for sun worshipping. I would have been exiled from Egypt by Akhenaten. But I thrive in the realm of the night.
I don’t mind if you call me a lunatic. I think it a proud name. But am I really a lunatic? You be the judge.
The moon is my constant, my confidante, my colostrum. There is no man in the moon; to me she has always been a woman. Sometimes full of face, sometimes just a slanty smile, but always a feminine presence in my life.
I’ve been told that my mother was able to calm my crying by holding me up to a window to see the moon. So you see the moon has always pulled me toward her. She cast her spell over me in a big way when I was just six. Not yet at the age of reason. To escape the suffocating Midwestern summer nights in our small house—which was certainly not air conditioned in 1955—I was allowed to sleep outdoors in the backyard. And that’s when it happened.
The very first night I fell asleep counting shooting stars in a moonless sky, only to be tugged from my dreams hours later by the glowing smile of a nearly full moon. She dazzled me with her charms, her brilliance. She lured me from my grassy bed to follow her through the treetops and into a world I had not known. A quieter world. One without yelling or spanking. One without rules or bedtimes. My new friend moved slowly and seemed willing to listen to the outpourings of my heart.
Let me tell you about my relationship with the moon now.
First of all, I love her figure. Despite her misshapen guises, she is an orb. A circle. That perfect geometry of constancy. The endless line that always returns to its starting point. Never broken, never ending. It is in fact so powerful for me to watch her swell each month that at her culmination, I too, feel a fullness, as if I have taken her into my own body. As if I am lit from within by my own form of bioluminescence. If plants can photosynthesize sunlight, why can I not evolve to synthesize moonlight?
I think I have. I told you I was a lunatic.
But wait! If I can so convincingly make my own case for lunacy, then how can I be truly mad? Perhaps I’m not. But I assure you I am sincere. I’m not toying with you literarily. This is my life. My life with the moon.
No surprise, I am also an insomniac. Have been all my life. I suppose I don’t really want to miss any of the night. There are never curtains at the windows in the rooms where I sleep. I don’t say bedroom, because I seldom devote an entire room to that endeavor. Bedrooms become my office, my studio, a meditation room, but rarely a room just for sleeping.
The absence of curtains has this plus: when I wake—and I do throughout each night—the moon is often there waiting for me. Calling to me. Sometimes I join her outdoors and bask in her light. Sometimes I simply commune with her through my window. And when she and I are at our fullest, I rush to lay out offerings to her: I’ll pick a gardenia and float it in a crystal bowl of water or set a round white agate on a circle of mirror.
The March full moon is known to some as the Crow Moon or the Sap Moon. Here in the far northwest, I have named it the Flowering Currant Moon, because that native plant blooms pink this month and is a lovely harbinger of Spring.
So look to the east tonight, meditate in her light and fill up your own soul with magnificent moonlight. Who knows, perhaps, you, too are a lunatic!
What are your experiences with the moon? I’d love to hear them. Please comment below.