Regarde La Lune

Twelve o’clock.
Along the reaches of the street
Held in a lunar synthesis,
Whispering lunar incantations
Dissolve the floors of memory
And all its clear relations,
Its divisions and precisions,
Every street lamp that I pass
Beats like a fatalistic drum,
And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium.

–T. S. Eliot

It is the very error of the moon,
She comes more nearer earth than she was wont
And makes men mad.
— Othello, Act 5, Scene 2
She was very beautiful, and that was only last night.
I tried to catch Her with a camera. You can’t do that. Out in the thicket and forest of my yard — a corner property that only condescendingly allows my house to stand on it — She cast shadows cut like the silhouettes that deft artisans used to sell at fairgrounds or street markets, before electronic cleverness came to dominate peoples’ imaginations. There was a moonbow or rainbow circle about her, which the best of my photographs can barely show you.
I did not want to go back inside, but I couldn’t think what I ought to do about a moon like that. In some past era when people didn’t save reverence for dusty, banal Sunday mornings inside drab buildings devoted to embalmed and interpreted stories, there might have been an option. There might have been people prepared to dance.
The flower heads on the lavender beside my front walk lay projected on the concrete.
I promised Her I would refuse to regard things as ordinary, especially flowers, especially clouds when they raced across the angles of the moonlight.
Ihre Schonheit. I say that of the Moon, and of the Earth when She speaks to me in a moment of stillness.
I wonder how many people spent the night in some bar or other, listening to bad music on the amplifiers.

6 thoughts on “Regarde La Lune

  1. Most of my people would dance to that moon if someone organized it. Some of them did dance to it. I was outdoors most of the night, but not paying more attention to the moon than usual. I danced, but only to a (bad) DJ. There was an outdoor bar, but people were too busy being obnoxious to look up. I was in a swimming pool about 2am, and the moonlight was nice, but again, no one was being astronomical about it. Lunatic, yes, certainly.

    Point being not the entire human race has gone indoors, and some of them still heed the music of the spheres. Not me, but I know some who do. Hope yet.

    • I suspect there really were a good number of Pagans dancing last night, somewhere. But they are so thin on the ground, and yes, people have gone inside. I sopmetimes feel as if my life is a continual struggle to get people out of the house; occasionally I’m one of them.

  2. It was cloudy, rainy and stormy up here all through Sunday, Monday and last night. No moon rituals for us.
    My son was to fly to Washington and Alexandria last night but his flight was grounded. He flew in today.

    • Oh dear, he got us on the hottest day of the year so far! Yipe!!

      I had to wait till seven in the evening to get up the nerve to go out and cut back the overgrowth in the garden. It’s becoming more of a forest, and it feels like the Amazon out there right now.

      What brings your son to our stifling climes? Incidentally the Old Town of Alexandria is a favorite place of mine. Pretty, historical, and a great hill.

  3. I guess he’s down there about a program of recruitement of African students split between 2 U.S. universities and 2 Canadian ones. He is dean for Student Affairs at McGill university in Montreal. His wife put it on her Facebook page, otherwise, my son being a little less talkative than a clam, we would not be aware of this.

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