“Sometimes the moon and sun argue over who will tuck me in at night.”
Perhaps it was last Friday’s equinox, or the fact we are wandering through an infrequent astronomical stretch, but again the daily pull between the sun and the moon has captured my imagination.
A reccurring cycle, whether bathed in sunlight or consumed by darkness, the gravity of the two celestial bodies exerts a constituent force on the soul. The sun is more evident — a greater amount of time is spent in its presence — since it is always there. Yet the sun only burns, it never changes, the surrounding atmosphere dictates or influences its power.
The moon, however, is different each night; it’s always changing. Never is the moon the same as it was.
I remember, as a child, my friends being fascinated with textbook constellations, always searching for Orion, Aquarius or the Big Dipper. I was content with the moon; not only was it obvious, but never afraid to show itself as it was. Whether full, half-hearted, or crescent, it remained true and dependable. Even with its slightest whispers, or a new moon holding back its light, I always knew it was there.
The moon is a motivator. When there is nothing left to talk about, to write about, or think about, there is always the moon. I’m not alone in this inspiration. Thoreau, Frost, Collins, Poe, Yeats, Laux (I could fill paragraphs alone with poets soothed or intrigued by moonglow) all found paper and pen as the moon spoke.
Over the past year, pages of poetry have spilled out of me in the shade of the moon. It has been an unidentified, almost mystic, dynamic I’ve not experienced before. The force wasn’t previously familiar, but I’ve always known the place where the moon resides.
I think I’ve spent a lot of my life hovering within a darkness. Maybe I found comfort there? A foreboding sadness, I might have even thought it was a normal means of dealing with negative situations and emotions, all the while still trying to convince myself I was searching for happiness. I continued looking for the light instead of realizing the true brightness was already there, inside of me.
I think a lot of people live like this, searching for a destination that will never be reached because we are already there. It takes stepping out of your comfort zone and changing your perspective to see it. Perhaps, for the first time, I actually realize this.
It’s like the moon; you see the sphere in all its phases, but you don’t notice the complete power until it is full.
Always in awe of the full moon (more of romance than of restlessness), I’ve felt all phases over the past 15 months have produced a correlation between the celestial map and my direction. It began with a new moon ushering in 2014, then even more so with last April’s spectacular lunar eclipse, the first of a consecutive four such events (two more in the tetra; April 4 and September 28 of this year). Since then I’ve been caught up in a lunar wake, the push and pull, the black and white, and a discovery of each shade between.
It has been a lunar awakening.
There is more to darkness than the inherent absence of light. There is lightness in darkness, something that allows sight; still, slight, but still present. Lightness is, in fact, more present in darkness, than the reverse. When is it light, you never think of the dark. In darkness, light may be all you yearn for.
The light is right there; a light I have shied away from.
It’s amazing how your perspective can change a situation. Rather than stepping away from the darkness, I am stepping towards this light. I am allowing my eyes to open wide, rather than adjusting to the darkness. This light shines on my faults, and my strengths, and encourages me to keep stepping forward.
The more light I allow in, the brighter I become. The darkness fades. I focus now on all the beauty and wonder I finally have the chance to see.
My lightness and my darkness are my yin and yang. I’ve long known of these contrary forces and had believed I fully understood the principle, the sunny and shady sides of the street, the strong and the weak, the masculine and the feminine. But when the concept becomes more personal, you realize it’s not about opposites, but rather a matter of balance.
There are two sides to everything and everyone. One side is not complete without the other.
Like the equinox – where the realms of the moon and the sun are equal — you need the darkness as much as the light, as surely as the moon needs the sun to provide its power.
The moon is not full, not now.
It is new, it is hiding, even it has
little courage now. Concealed.
Behind clouds it knows and
thoughts it has never had before,
it waits. For what? Like you, or
I, it masks its enthusiasm with
tentative steps, a walk that can
keep you awake through the
night. Wondering. Why? When?
What will it take before it again
shows itself completely? Maybe
more time? Or maybe more light?
© j.g. lewis 2014