Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The third luminous thing...

Public domain image the waning crescent moon. I'm unwillingly awake and starting my drive to work in that cold and still time just before dawn, when the sky isn't night sky anymore but the dark is still dominant. I turn the corner and there is the moon, hanging just above the dark trees and even in this first faint bit of light it's night-sky bright, a huge hook low in the eastern sky, lighting up this dim space between darkness and dawn.

The waning crescent moon, I read, is high overhead at 9am local time. Whose local time do they mean? Mine? And everywhere, all over the world? I always did have trouble with astronomy, trouble sorting out the positions of things—too many moving parts, objects circling objects circling the sun, orbits and risings and settings. I can grasp the poetry of moonrise far better than its math.

I turn the page, and read on: the waning moon is a time for spells that banish and release, a time of intuition and divination. But I can think of nothing to intuit, and I'm not very interested in spells. There's just me, alone in the dark car, and the moon—the only divine thing here—alone in the sky.

The sliver of moon rides with me along the dark roads. I can see now the low flame of true dawn in the east, and I'm clear of the trees. But the night mist lingers in the low places, like ghosts not yet absolved by morning, and the moon is fading to a thin glimmer, its sinuous hook dissolving, releasing me into the day.

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