Blue Moon

A full moon occurred yesterday at 2:13 in the afternoon, the second full moon of this December; thus it’s a blue moon that heralds our transit from the ‘uh-oh’s’ into the teens.  Arbitrary dates, accidents of the calendar, are what we mark.  A ‘blue moon’ has no meaning to the moon, only to our Gregorian ‘moonth’ being longer than the moon’s, so this last full moon had no other name between the Cold Moon and the Wolf Moon.

The celestial transit, the actual calculable moment the sun appears to pirouette and begin the march north – still called ‘sun-stand’ where we know of course that it is more ‘geostice’ as it’s the earth tilted to its orbit that appears to do the changing – was on December 21st.  But even that remarkable event (in the sense of objectively meaningful, as opposed to the meaningless date of December 25 [Jesus was born in April according to historians] or watching a ball drop on midnight when a paper calendar turns a month) does not necessarily mark spiritual time, do you agree?

By which I mean: these astrological dates mark the development of things, not a guaranteed delivery date.  Watching this winter storm come in, one sees the high and wispy cirrus clouds first, then the waves of altostratus come in, and subsequent lower waves of nimbus until the glowering scud is upon us.  It is easy to mark the storm from the first spits of snow if you are looking at the ground as our rabbits do, but the man (or the horse – our horses are always eyeing the sky) with his gaze up sees the storm arrive over a 36-hour period.  Likewise, the mathematical precision of the stars can mark the turning of a tide, but not the exact moment that the flood inundates little me.

Set against that notion is the secant sliced razor-thin through time: The astrologer Tad Mann ( posits life as logarithmic – your first day is 100% of your life, your second day 50%, your third day 33%, fourth day 25%, etc.  Now, at 60, each day is about 1/22,000th of my life.  Tad plots that logarithm as a march around the circle of your chart – the first 10 moonths of gestation are a third, the 100 moons of childhood are a third, and the 1000 months of adulthood are a third.  Feels so right.  When I arrived at his doorstep with vague information about when I was born, he jiggered his computer-aided precision around the heavens, and by nailing a few significant dates in my life was able to predict my time of birth, later confirmed when I pressed our local hospital for a look at the birth records (and there I was, written out in blue ink with a fair hand – 8:15 of a hot July day in 1949).

So, something is very precise and mathematical and Newtonian in the heavens, for sure, but the general unfolding down here on earth is chaotic, with ebbs and flows of time, with overlaps and undertow. Like the weather, it defies precise prediction (calling down the catcalls of those who think that seeing the future is like calling a billiard shot), but trends may be discerned, and it’s a fool who decries global warming because of a 6-year reverse in a hundred year run.

Ten years ago, we all stood with bated breath for Y2K – remember? Our human (nay, only Christian) odometer crossed a bunch of nine’s to zeroes, and we freneticised a non-event.  But nine months into that year the meaning of the century if not the new millennium burst upon us – a storm whose cirrus clouds were sown in post-war guilt that established Israel, the altostratus with the American-funded coup that set up the Shah in 1960 and towering clouds of the subsequent Iranian Revolution in ’79 and heavy gray layer of mujahadeen enlisting CIA aid for the Russian-Afghan war of the 80’s.  A man with his eyes to the sky might not have predicted the ominous date of 9/11, but the coming storm was clear enough from the Kohl, the embassies, and Lockerbie.

Not far into this decade, the Mayan calendar rolls up – December 21st, 2012.  Some people mark it as the end of the world; optimists are casting it as a ‘new beginning’ – whatever, I am not holding my breath or spending all our money.  As precise as the Mayan system of astronomy was, the end of the world (even ‘as we know it’) is unlikely to take place all at once as a disaster movie, but more like a Faulkner novel.

If we survive that marker, by 2020 I really will be the pugnacious old man that a perceptive friend just gleefully and accurately named me.  I will be 70, definably old and in the phase of letting things go, let go, let go.  A decade ago, we had Y2K, no reality shows, no YouTube, no iPhones, no Facebook.  We had Bush-Cheney, starting wars willy-nilly, and in spite of Three Cups of Tea and the election of Obama, we still are fighting two useless wars, with jarheads killed, opportunities at home forgotten, and friendly populations lost to jihadist recruitment as our bombs fall silently from above. What will the next decade bring.

All in all, I am happy to say goodbye to this decade.  Personally, it has been one of great pleasure in my work, and seeing my ideas spread far beyond my fondest hopes.  Returning to my native land, I have sunk roots into this Presumpscot clay, and relearned this estuarial arm of the sea.  I have watched my daughter fall and pick herself up again and rise well above her fears.

But the same decade has ravaged the one I love the most, a deep disharmony with her inner world, a dissonance I helped create and sadly help maintain whose lock we strive daily and yearly to pick, so far without success.  The increasing desperation of this struggle has occupied my spirit, and curtailed this blog – how can I write from such inner and idiosyncratic despair and who needs to read it?

We set deadlines so hopefully and read the auguries for when this veil might be lifted from our inner eyes, and the weight from our hearts, but these personal marks on the calendar come and go with fluctuations, but no resolution.  Everyone has weight to bear, and we are both aware of our many blessings, but it has been so hard to see my love’s light so hidden under the bushel of her system’s rebellion.

As this decade passes, I pray “Take this cup from her”.

An old friend is dying just now, being transported slowly by his cancer from one world into the other.  As conscious a death as I have ever witnessed, it humbles me and makes me wish for such a conscious death, and if a conscious death, why not a conscious rebirth?  And if a conscious rebirth, why not a ‘rebirth’ now into health and harmony?

Pastoria (oddly – I stayed up for New Year last night, first time in years, a bit unintentionally, but my midnight walk among the trees etched in snow was such a reminder – how fragile we are, how fragile it all is – but the jaw-dropping wonder at the natural world that occupied the early posts in this blog now seems too innocent and credulous – the devil’s sulphurous breath can be smelt behind the mask), clever wordplay, political commentary all seem trivial against this spiritual crusher, so I cannot write here as much any more.  Or maybe I will find it again – the time and tide will tell.


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