Friday, April 24, 2009

Dark Side of the Moon

I've always been in love with the moon. But only now, after all this time, have I become attuned to it.

Everywhere I have ever lived there have been street lights. Every night was like every other: uniform, sanitized, conveniently electrical. Completely disconnected from the natural world. I never knew the seasons of the moon, the monthly ebb and rise of it, never felt its rhythm like a slow beating heart.

Our bed now stands between two tall, east-facing windows that overlook a forest. The former owners left only a set of sheer curtains on them, so the room is bathed in sunlight at dawn and moonlight at night. Before lying down, I feel compelled to brush back the gauzy veil and to wonder at the ancient, mysterious radiance.

When the moon is full, sleeping in that room is like lying in a luminous, silver cloud. The trees and even passing clouds cast magic shadows that drift around the room and echo through strange and wondrous dreams.

Other nights, like this one, when there is no moon, the darkness is absolute. It is a blackness that seems to have weight and substance and will, a heavy presence pressing against the windows, seeking entry, a chink, some small drafty crack. On nights like this, I imagine that I can see the darkness seeping in like restless smoke, sniffing about in the corners, gathering in pools on the polished floor.

Light and dark. Magic and menace. Pleasure and panic. Round and round and round she goes. Where she stops, nobody knows.

*Photo from NASA archives.


sallyacious said...

Gorgeous. I haven't seen as much of the moon lately as I'm used to. Too many clouds, I'm not up as early in the mornings (yay!) and the days last longer now. But I do love being able to live by her light. I'll miss that soon.

So if you can see the moon, you must also be able to see the stars...

MyMaracas said...

Sally, yes - we see a lot of stars out here. The glow from South Bend fades out a lot of them, but on moonless nights, on the dark side of the house, on a clear night ... a lovely show.

CJ said...

Lovely writing.

This reminds me of a Twain quotation: "Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody." (Following the Equator, 1897)

When I lived in Brazil in a town that had electricity only from 6-10 pm. it seemed like there were a billion more stars in the sky than at home and the moon was so much brighter.