It was a night…

…by which I have compared all other nights in my life.

I grew up in a steel mill town and when production was high, during the day, ash would float down from the sky in little black flakes. I’m sure if that were to happen these days some man or woman from the EPA would turn purplish red, lose the capacity for speech and simply drop to the floor dead.

Back in those days it was just cool.

I was probably twelve or maybe even 13 at the time and really coming into my own, angst-wise. I’m sure there was a girl involved somewhere in all of it, though I could not tell you if it was Betty, Cheryl, Deborah or whoever, but I found myself sitting on the front porch of our two story apartment after the sun had gone down and feeling a different kind of longing then I’d experienced before.

It was late spring and the night was fair. When I inhaled I could smell the lake water from just a few blocks away. (still can when I close my eyes) I was listening to my favorite AM radio station (I wasn’t quite cool enough for FM yet by about 2 years). The DJ sounded just like you think a cheesy DJ would, hence the beginning of the cliche, I assume. My thoughts had kind of run away with my awareness for a few minutes as I reveled in whatever drama of the day was holding court as reality. Couldn’t tell you how long I was in la-la land or give any specifics of what actually occurred there. What really, really grabbed me was my environment when I came back.

Directly across the street and above my neighbors house hovered the moon. Not like any I’d ever seen before or after for that matter. It was as if someone had turned on a search light and aimed it right at me. It literally filled my vision. There were nooks and crannies, divots and craters of all sizes. I was actually able to perceive it as a three dimensional object. Not until years and years later would I be able to see detail like that again and only then through the aid of what I assume was a pretty powerful telescope.

I simply could not look away. The window to our living room was just a few feet above me and my parents would have heard me easily enough if I’d called out to them. I simply couldn’t. I was transfixed and enthralled. (or as my dad used to say, “I been hipmotized! in an exaggerated voice.) Without realizing it, a song had started on the radio and I recognized it as being “our song”. Of course  she didn’t know it was, (whoever she was) but that just didn’t seem to matter right then. I went to a “whole nother level”, so to speak.  I was untouchable in my forlornness. The song reached it’s apex and I swear to you the moon was so bright white and all-consuming that the temperature dropped by four or five degrees while I sat there. It was an ice cold, brilliant light. I swear it was looking back at me.

Now the sad truth is, that after a time, the wonder of it started to wear off. Whether it was the moon shifting in the sky, or a song I didn’t like came on the radio or I simply began to get tired, the magic began to thin and was soon gone (much like my relationship with the almost aforementioned girl). The spell broken, I turned off my AM radio, sighed and went inside to get ready for bed.

Now I started writing this simply because I wanted to share with you about that night and how it felt, etc. But, having written it, I find that I’ve had a small revelation that I’d also like to share with you silent masses, if you would be so good as to tolerate me a bit further.

And that, is that while I look back on that night (and many other instances in my life) and am appalled at how quickly that “magic” fades from those moment and often times our memories, I have a tendency to knee-jerk respond, and curse the silly humanity that allows that to happen. However, after I’ve calmed down a bit and had a chance to take  a step back, I find that it’s that very same humanity (and ultimately, imperfection) that allows those times to be special. I’m sure you know what I mean. We are, I believe, doomed to want that which we can’t or don’t have and if, by chance, we get it, we no longer see it (whatever it is) as special. The simple fact that that “magic” fades makes it special and fragile and impermanent. If those moments lasted forever, they would just turn into “reality”. And you know how much we all love that. There are entire industries built on evading it! Legal and not so much. I suppose I could go on here but, having made my point, I’d really like to stop. You churn the water too much and instead of “interesting” you end up with “muddy”.

There is a full moon (or as my son used to so prophetically say, “fools moon”) out tonight, that’s what started this whole diatribe. I don’t want to miss it altogether so I’ll sign off for now and I think I’ll go across the street and have a beer with my neighbor and be somebody…

I hope…


~ by trendof1 on April 13, 2010.

6 Responses to “It was a night…”

  1. I love listening to your memories and a kindred spirit that “gets” things on a level I do. I have to admit I have been in a torrid love affair with the moon for a very, very long time. Also know dear one, whether imbibing in a frosty libation with your neighbor or not, you, sir, are ALWAYS “somebody” to me.

    • Thanks so much for tuning in Cindy. I absolutely love to hear from you! You are such a kind and generous soul. I appreciate you so much.
      I’ll keep posting and you keep connecting.
      P.S. That moon is definitely something! Almost primal.

  2. I’ve had a lot of darkness along the way in life. Often the greatest fear and most ravenous demons show up at night…to avoid nightmares I’ve spent a lot of time sitting up awake or working night shift when most of the rest of the world is sleeping. So many variations of color, texture and emotion from an empty rock hanging in space. No light of it’s own, just shining out it’s glory from the light of another. There have been some moon rises such as you describe and I am amazed how much of the world keeps moving along .. not seeing.. or not caring. I’ve literally pulled off the road to capture and experience those moments because as you so poignantly pointed out, they are fleeting. A wisp of cloud will move… the moon will rise a few degrees… and the magic is lost with only a hint of the sweet fragrance of memory for any to know it had every been there at all. The moon so far away influences our tides, our bodies, our world, and those of us dreamers…our imaginations. Primal indeed….

  3. What an awesome story! You write so well I felt like I could see what you were seeing back then! You are a very gifted writer, along with so many other talents.
    Miss you, Den and Nae

    • Thanks Danae,
      It’s good to hear from you! I’m glad you enjoy my “ramblings”. Miss you too. I’m sure we’ll pop in some time soon.

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