Lughnasa Waning Summer Moon
The full Waning Summer Moon hung just above Black Mountain yesterday, so I watched as it disappeared behind the peak. It surprised me how fast it sank. I watched only for 2, maybe 3 minutes, then it was gone. At its last it was a bright line among the Lodgepole pines marking the rocky contours where it had been. This morning it’s well above the peak, looking much like the earth in the earthrise photographs from the Apollo missions.
The moon and the sun remind us, as do the stars, that we are not only alone on this rock, but alone for millions and millions of miles. At least. That simple fact could bring us together as a species, but it doesn’t. And, frankly, I don’t understand why, since it means that this little spinning piece of debris from the formation of the solar system is our home and any other possible home is way too far away to move to in any numbers. If at all.
When we were at the Beth Evergreen teachers’ workshop last week, Tara asked us what we thought we brought to the classroom. “I bring a spirit of inquiry, of curiosity,” I said, then surprised myself by voicing an insight I didn’t realize I’d had, “I’ve always lived the questions, not the answers.” True that.
Sometimes, not often, I wish I could lean into answers, just accept a few, take them as settled law, stare decisis for the soul. But, no. Conclusions in my world are tentative, preliminary, awaiting new information. I think this is what the long ago psychiatrist meant when he said I had a philosophical neurosis. If so, so be it. As a result, I’ve been unendingly curious, never lacking something new to consider, never taking yes for an answer. Or, no.
I’ve modulated my approach so it’s not as acidic, not as relentless since I now realize that most people don’t share my intense, but actually (in my mind) playful attitude toward truth. Playful, I should note, in this age of “fake presidents,” but not stupid.