Sunday, October 16, 2016

waxing philosophical at the October Hunter's Moon

The Hunter's Moon as it rose, taken from the front yard last night

and as it set Sunday morning, taken from Sam's window

It was the first time in a long while that I'd taken the time to bathe in this view. There is something terribly comforting about the moon. Every life that has passed through this earth has been gazed upon by her. I suppose this lures my melancholic disposition. It plucks the harmonies from joy and sadness together. 

I had some company in my contemplation, too.

And finally, from the Earth's gentlest tilt-a-whirl, she bumped the top the mountain and rolled away from my sight.

My friend's mother passed away a week ago yesterday morning, after 10 days on hospice. I was sitting with Marci on the field of a stormy balloon field in New Mexico when I got the news. 

Since then, I've been reading a book I bought quite awhile ago but had not yet pulled from my pile of good intentions. The Long Goodbye by Meghan O'Rourke, a memoir on losing her mother, appeals to me on every level, both from the memento mori subject matter to her style and influences -- she references passages I love from Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway and, most relevant, her connection to Hamlet and his grief. She is a writer and editor and comes at her grief over the loss of her mother from angles very familiar to me. One passage I came up on last night, in between the first photo on this post and the rest, struck a chord that I immediately dogeared: 

Grief is paradoxical: you know you must let go, and yet letting go cannot happen all at once. The literature of mourning enacts that dilemma; its solace lies in the ritual of remembering the dead and then saying, There is no solace, and also, This has been going on a long time.

There is a line from my ongoing obsession with Hamilton that Lin Manuel-Miranda has admitted he feels himself: "I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory."

Yes, this. 

In fact, when I go to type out the line, I keep typing "I remember death so much it feels more like a memory." Not imagine. Remember. Where does that come from?

Something about the moon makes me remember that all the more. 

“Other people are likely not to be aware that those who pursue philosophy aright study nothing but dying and being dead. Now if this is true, it would be absurd to be eager for nothing but this all their lives, and then to be troubled when that came for which they had all along been eagerly practicing.” (Plato's Phaedo, 64a, translation by Harold North Fowler, 1966).


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