When I went on my walk this morning, I looked up and beheld Luna’s baleful eye gazing down on me. It was ominous. It was creepy. It was oh-so-cool.
If you do a google search for “moon”, you will get back 347 million results. The results range for this morning’s rare occurrence, to songs and stories about her, to her effects on tides, to her as a theme for a popular video gaming system.
She is with us in our present. Scientists will tell us that the moon has absolutely no effect on human behavior or psychology , yet many of us believe it does. Furthermore, she is a part of inner-most selves. Some in the psychological field see the moon as a symbol of the unconscious, the feminine principle in our psyches, and even representative of our “shadow” selves.
The moon, according to some, is even a part of our future. She is a part of prophecy.
It would seem that Mistress Moon serves as a conveyor of all that is human.
This morning I discovered a long-legged cellar spider hanging by a thread of her own making above my bathtub. I don’t like spiders much, but since she was not in my way and was not particularly threatening in her appearance, I figured “live and let live.”
As I was going about the process of getting ready for work, I could not help but ponder her presence in my bathroom. I wondered what she was planning to catch in her web. Cellar spiders hang out in dark cavities in places like, well, cellars, preying on bugs and other spiders that lurk there. With the exception of an occasional lost arachnid such as herself, I do not often have insects, crawling or flying, in my bathroom.
“Sweetie, you’re gonna get mighty hungry if you stick around here,” I mumbled.
This made me think of people. We are often like this little spider: we chose circumstances where we get hungry for life, where we do not flourish. We often must push ourselves to get out of our comfort zones while we still have the energy and ability to do so. We must learn our true natures and learn the places and circumstances we need to thrive. We must then move on to those places for our own survival.
With that thought in mind, I went over to my visitor’s web and gave it a little blow, rattling her world and waking her up. She took the hint and scrambled up and away, hopefully to a better place.
In looking back at my more recent blog posts, I find that the dominant topics lately have been about writing, drumming, and cooking. Once in a while, I’ll post some airy-fairy philosophical spew or a general rant about something that has irked me. I’ve gotten a little creatively narrow.
The other day I saw a video on one of my social media feeds of the aurora borealis. That simple video reminded me that my interests used to span all sorts of disciplines. There was a time when I used to gaze at the night sky and marvel, and a time I used to read Greek mythology for fun. And I loved it when these two converged.
When I was in college, I took an astronomy course to fulfill a science requirement. It was then that the heavens opened up for me (pun intended). For example, I learned that the color of stars indicate their temperature and thus their age. I also learned that no one really knows if light is a wave or a particle or both. This is not particularly useful information for navigating my day-to-day routine, but it is cool information nonetheless.
My point is that I should be ever mindful not to become so embroiled in the mundane that I forget how to be awestruck.
Every morning at 6 a.m. local time, the Daily Post puts up a prompt word for the day. However, when I checked the prompt page at 6:15 there was no new post for January 23. I tried refreshing the browser. Nothing.
So off I went to the day job. It is now the end of the afternoon and I thought I would check for the prompt again. Sure enough, the prompt is there: Tardy. Get it? They were tardy in posting the prompt. Hahahahahahaha. Bet you think you’re clever, Daily Post!
What annoys me is that the post does not inspire me, and even if it did, the freshness of early morning that propels my writing has worn off.
I have recently discovered a wonderful podcast series, Write Now, hosted by author Sarah Werner. This morning I listened to her episode on creating a space for writing where she posed the question: what is your writing space like and how is it reflected in your writing?
I am fairly agile when it comes to the physical act of writing. I made a creative corner in my bedroom consisting of a bookcase filled with writing, reference, poetry, and spiritual books. I have my laptop, assorted art supplies and writing implements, and several dozen notebooks and pads of art paper. Typically, I write here only in the oh-so-early-butt-crack o’dawn and only on morning pages or personal journaling. For my other writing sessions, I pop around from place-to-place.
Sometimes I dictate onto a hand device while lounging on the living room sofa. Sometimes I write at a proper desk on a computer before I start working at the day job. Sometimes I hand write in coffee houses and libraries. I have tried writing outside in the park or at the beach but that, for reasons that I need to explore someday, is not an optimal experience.
How does that affect my writing? You only need to look at the posts on this blog to see: just as I jump from place-to-place when I write, so too do my blog posts leap from subject-to-subject. Even my writing style demonstrates some agility: I tend to write quick, short pieces in a simple, active voice — most suitable for blog-writing.
I wonder how my writing would change if I had a whole room dedicated to writing filled with my entire library and decorated with art pieces and other dinkerdoodles? Would it change?
Since that is not likely to happen anytime in the near future, I guess I better keep flexing my muscles to stay fit and mobile.
I have said it before: this is not a food blog. I’m write mostly about the creative process. But since my writing has been a little static for a few days, I thought I would take a little break from that and be creative in the kitchen.
What do you do with a couple of ancient squash? OK, they’re only two months old, but for produce that’s a long time. I roasted them, gutted them, paired them with an equally ancient pair of apples, an onion, and various spices and other seasonings. After pouring it all into a casserole, I glued it all together with big fistfuls of fontina and mozzarella.
Many times when I get loose in the kitchen, the end result is a disaster. Not so this time. It turned out quite tasty.
Who knew that one could overcome writer’s block by appeasing the Muse with mounds of hot, gooey cheese? She’s easy that way.
One of my favorite writers is Natalie Goldberg, and right now I am reading her memoir, Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America. Just this morning I read and highlighted this line about her writing process:
“…If I had a topic to begin with, it was easier to get started. Almost any topic was okay, because once you began, you entered your own mind and your mind had its own paths to travel. You just needed to step out of the way, but a topic was a first footstep or twist of a doorknob into the entry of yourself.”
She goes on to state that the writer should start keeping a list of topics to draw upon as needed to jump start the writing process. So I did just that. The first topics on my list are my 1940’s era stove, the make-up I wear, and the tiny crescent moon sliding into its newness that I saw on this morning’s walk.
What does any of this have to do with this morning’s Daily Post prompt, undulate? Nothing directly. The word “undulate” made me think of water, which made me think of moonlight, which reminded me of the almost-new moon I saw this morning, which made me ponder why so much is made out of the beauty and magic of a full moon when this little sliver of light is just has sparkling and magnificent. I think I could create a haibun* from this.
See how this all works?
You take that first step and see where the journey takes you.
ljgloyd (c) 2018
*Haibun is a Japanese poetic form which starts with a narrative paragraph about a personal experience and ends with a traditional haiku verse.