Once Upon a Blue Moon

“Once in a blue moon” either means two full moons in the same month or thirteen full moons in the same year.

At one point in history, the moon did appear to be blue, but that was a result of the ash and gases released when Krakatau erupted. Didn’t have anything to do with the moon being made of blue cheese and ever since I saw a rabbit in the moon, I haven’t been able to see the man in the moon.

I don’t know what any of this has to do with my silence, but I haven’t written a blog for close to a month – since my friend George died. After writing about that, I didn’t know what to say. And then I learned that my friend’s eight-year old granddaughter died – killed in a crosswalk in Prague by a truck driver who was distracted by the weight of his own life.

I really didn’t know what to say after that.

The past decade has been top heavy with loss. I’m sure enduring it has made me stronger. But it’s also made me more fragile – leaving me with the skin of a snake that has just slithered out of its old skin.

I’ve been looking at that old skin, wondering what to do now that I’ve shed it. I’m a little scared to see that it is no longer a part of me. I’ve even tried putting it back on, but that’s like pushing string. It just doesn’t work.

So I have to deal with where I am right now. It’s a little bit scary.

My biggest epiphany as I wrote my way into the New Year in my morning pages was that my rage seems to have burned itself out. I just kind of noticed it was gone – the way the lighthouse keeper wakes up at two in the morning and asks “What’s that?” when the fog horn that goes off every hour on the hour doesn’t go off.

I think that for years my rage was my lighthouse, the homing beacon that showed me the way back to myself when the Greek chorus chanted, “You’re too big for your britches, you’re too big for you’re britches, who do you think you are?” over and over ad infinitum.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve sought out that chorus recently, hoping to find some comfort in the familiar. Like a horse running into the burning barn.

But there is no comfort in what was familiar.

Life is more fragile than I ever imagined. I see the photographs and videos of my friend’s eight-year-old granddaughter and wonder how can this be? How can a life force so strong be snuffed out with so little regard for rhyme and reason?

For some reason, it makes seeking the familiar to keep fear at bay a fool’s errand for me. My choice is to accept change as the only thing that is certain.

So here I am with a new chorus waiting for me to cue them up with a new refrain. And I wonder, what will I write?

Once in a blue moon, something rare happens. Life is fragile. I think it’s important to seize those moments.

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