Moon and More

I wake with the 3 am moon. It’s bursting at the seams and achromatic white. There’s a pure incandescent light that stretches across the night sky. My whole upper body is drenched in its rays while still lying in bed stumbling through the dream that woke me. It’s a vision of a cylinder with luminescent blue trim and lights the same luminescent blue scattered down its tube into a vanishing point that leads to a star system. I’ve had this dream before. I’m not sure if it’s a dream or a vision, it’s hard to tell the two apart these days, one just blends into the other and I’ve gotten used to not knowing the difference. What I do know is that I’m becoming convinced that this entire experience is one big dream and we’ve got the whole thing backwards.

The separation between day and night is mixed up. In the daytime we build monuments to doing-ness while planning and scheming away at how to get more by doing more and having more and filling and filling our days and nights with stuff that leads to more stuff, stuffing it in and dragging it all about. We get harried and fussed with all this consuming busy-ness that when the night finally comes we huddle inside the boxes that are our homes, afraid of the dark, cocooned within walls and exhausted, we fall over into the blackness of sleep that doesn’t have a hope of travelling about into the unconscious mind. Our dream world has become a dead-zone, and that’s the backward part. I think our dream world is there to be the teacher and we simply don’t make room for it.

I think our dream world is there to be the teacher and we simply don’t make room for it.

I walk out onto the deck where the shadows are long and the pond glistens. The forest is lit up like a soccer field in sharp white and silver tones and I can hear a screech owl trilling in the cedars. Luckily I have the sense to wear fuzzy chenille socks to bed, and I always have a warm sweater hung on the chair by the door so I’m good enough with a chill in the air. I wander past the statue that is a chestnut stump scrounged from the Gellatly Nut Farm when they were clearing up the unwanteds to make way for a park, and cross over into the path past the woodshed and up into the clearing that opens to the cottonwood zone.

I can see the stars but wonder how come I can’t see what holds it all together or pulls it apart for that matter. It’s all the same. I wonder about gravity too but I’ve wondered about gravity for a really long time.

… the big map of the world is spread out on the three pedestal oak table that my family sits around for dinner and breakfast and serious talks. My Dad is showing us the route our boat will take from New Zealand to Canada. He’s explaining how we get to stop in Tonga and Fiji and how when we get to Hawaii is when we’ll know we’re almost there. Once we land in Canada there’ll be Aunts and Uncles and cousins and the grandmother I’ve only ever met once. I’ve seen the pictures of where we’re going, there’s mountains and trees and snow, I think I’ll like snow. But secretly the thing I’m most looking forward to is that it’s close to the north pole and we all know who lives at the north pole. The globe comes down off the piano and my mother traces her finger across the ocean all the way up and up to where our new home will be and in that instant I’m struck with terror. If our boat is going to travel almost around the whole world and the world is round, what’s going to keep us from falling off the earth? If we’re bobbing around on top of the water we’re not going to be safe until we get past the tropic of Capricorn and on the other side of the Equator, at least then we can level out and should be clear of getting sucked out into the atmosphere where who knows what can happen. I ask about this. My mother says we should be safe because of gravity. Gravity will hold the boat in the water just like it holds us on the ground. Gravity is important because if we didn’t have it we would all go floating into the sky and that would be no good. I trust her, but I’m not so sure I trust gravity, after all, the water is way different than the land. I’m hoping she’s right.

I sense a veil thinning. I’m feeling it as a hum just under the surface of my skin. It’s somewhere near the middle ether and flutters like hummingbird wings. Sometimes I can see through when translucent shapes leave a point of reference in my peripheral vision then slip back through the gate they came from. It has ceased to startle me. We’re in something, not sure what at this point, a shift maybe and it’s way bigger than a change of season.

I sense a veil thinning. I’m feeling it as a hum just under the surface of my skin.

People used to make small talk about the weather. I notice though, that the weather chat has turned into how white the sun is when it used to be golden, how it seems that time is speeding up or slowing down, there is chat about how bright the moon is and that always leads to how odd the seasons are. The small talk has become the entrance point for speculation on the big things that are out of our control. Something’s wrong and usually the last words to end the conversation. Something’s wrong.

I can feel the slippage as I move further along the path. The moon is still bright and I tuck my sweater close. The gravity of gravity comes to mind as I wander into this moonlit night with its beams weaving criss-cross patterns and darkening the entrance to portal points. No worries, I know where they are, those portal points, can find them in the dark no matter what on a night robust with lunar searchlights to mark the way.

They, whomever ‘they’ are, say that when the shift comes that something will happen to stagger the imagination. I think it might have something to do with gravity, maybe because it’s the only thing I can think of that would stagger my imagination at the moment. I’m wondering if there’s a shallow covered spot I can use as refuge for the moment when gravity leaves. I can’t imagine floating up into the sky though it wouldn’t be a bad way to leave the planet I suppose. I’m certain it will only last a moment and a shelter could prevent my certain ascent into the stars I so adore. The cylinder from my dream, the one with the luminescent blue lights comes into my mind.

They, whomever ‘they’ are, also say there are only two things you can count in life and that’s death and taxes. I notice they never mention gravity. I’m wondering if my Mother was wrong.

 
 

Photo credit: Lori Mairs

 
 

This is part of ROOT MAPPING, a section of The Learned Pig devoted to exploring which maps might help us live with a clear sense of where we are. ROOT MAPPING is conceived and edited by Melanie Viets.

 
 

The Learned Pig

 
 

Lori Mairs

Lori Mairs (1961- 2021) lived in the forest as the caretaker of the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy in Kelowna, BC, Canada for 15 years. She completed her BFA and then an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Her primary concerns were the relationships we have with each other as humans and the deep and often reaching relationships humans have with the more-than-human world. For many years she wrote a blog, “The Land of 7:30.” She was an ecological artist and a personal growth consultant, as well as a remarkable person and dear friend.