I'll ask the reader's indulgence if I skip around for awhile in my writing. One of the things I reminded myself among the creosote, cholla and scrub is that I am not and cannot be perfect at anything. I need to stop trying to be that. It saps my energy. And I reminded myself that I'd better laugh - hard and out loud - every day. For if I don't, I might as well throw myself on my sword and be done with it.
Last Friday, I was pretty entranced by the coming of the Wolf Moon, the first and biggest full moon of the year. When I left the office in the evening, I stepped out onto the deck and gasped. On the second floor, I felt I was at the same altitude as that moon. It was the largest I've ever seen, and I felt close to its surface - zoomed in. It glowed golden, not at all silvery, almost like a harvest moon. And the news article was right - one could easily see the various topographical features on that golden ball. I hoped there would be a repeat performance the following night when I was to be in the desert.
In camp at night, I enjoy sitting beside a woodfire, watching closely from the first match strike until sand is finally shoveled onto the embers before retirement into the tent. I situate my chair so close to the fire ring there is sometimes some concern I may burn myself up. I bend over and put my face close to study the changes in the wood and the flames and the undulations of the embers, rather like a lava lamp. Sometimes I say out loud that I'd like to touch parts of it because it is so beautiful. No, I don't actually touch it and no, I was not a firestarter as a child. I'm just drawn to it. Challenge to the reader: describe fire in a way that a blind person could "see" it.
The desert is often breezy and that does not bode well for campers sitting beside a fire. One can be seated in her preferred spot, and when the wind shifts, she gets a face full of wood smoke. Not pleasant. I am much admired in some quarters for my ability to yank up my sling-seat chair, lap robe, assorted items in my lap and place myself 180-degrees around the fire ring in one smooth move. Without upsetting one drop of my drink.
Saturday, the hike and dinner completed, it was time to start the fire. The moonglow came up above the mountaintop, round and huge and silver, the beautiful older sister getting ready to go out with her beau. The wolf moon that followed was small and distant, partially obscured by clouds and dull, not glowing. It put me in mind of the younger brother, watching from behind the curtains. A fine photograph was made at the same time I fiddled with my funky point-and-shoot. I might also add I don't know anything about night photography. My camera didn't even detect the clouds. But I was having fun seated beside my fire, warm and fascinated by that moon. I was also not brooding about painful things. So above, from my camp chair, is my shot of the wolf moon.
And here is my shot of the wolf moon just as the breeze shifted. No, I didn't gather myself and shoot 180-degrees counterclockwise. I suffered the smoke and got the shot!
In my ears right now: It's the seeming 467th cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". This is a very different interpretation and quite beautiful, I think. Sorry, embedding is disabled, but it's worth the trip if the song appeals to the reader.
Something that charmed me: Mother Badger e-mailed me a wealth of good information, ideas and methods of dealing with grief. One may be well known, but I'd never heard of it. One puts a rubber band around her wrist. When the emotional pain is such that one needs a little break, she snaps the rubber band, exchanging a physical twinge for the emotional one. I ran to my desk immediately upon receiving the e-mail. I'm pretty red and welted. My coworkers think that is a pretty funny bracelet, but I must say it does divert my attention when I need that.