Listen to the Moon

I caught a glimpse of the moon last night.  It was a sickle moon but it curved in the direction that’s never chosen for a child’s drawing of the moon.  It was reflected backward, yawning open to the left instead of right.  That moon, looking awkward and out of place like that capital letter D that my first grade teacher drew intentionally backward on the chalkboard to illustrate to straggling learners that there’s a right way and a wrong way to draw a D.  The backward D made my skin crawl, and I held my hands between my knobby knees to keep them from stretching out to erase the offending D.  I wanted last night to reach up to smudge out the backward moon.

It’s been awhile since I looked at the moon.

I wouldn’t have looked for the moon last night unless I had just finished reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.  It happens to me often with a powerfully written book that the characters and messages linger on my skin after I’ve turned the final page like a house wears the perfume of a fish dinner cooked hours before.  Among many images in 1Q84 is a unifying thread of people noticing the moon for the first time in a long time, a metaphor for awakening to the world around them.

Do I stop to listen to the world around me often enough?  Do I go blindly, deafly, mutely forward and assume I know exactly how it’s all supposed to turn out–and exactly which way moons and letter Ds are supposed to face?

When I stop–thinking, assuming, overlooking, rushing–will I hear more?

Will I hear Little One laughing as I rub noses with her at bedtime?

Will I hear Little Friend singing “God Bless Amiracle” while sequestered in her room at quiet time?

Will I hear the longing to be with Mama that’s behind Little One’s wordless babble as she tugs at my knees or in Little Friend’s requests to “talk in voice” with a stuffed animal?

And will these sounds catch my ears fresh enough to turn over, smooth out, and tuck away in a memory box bathed in backward-moonlight?

This post is shared with Lisa Jo Baker’s Five Minute Fridays.

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  1. Anna said:

    I’m a 5 minute Friday visitor, and I’m so glad I stopped by. This is such beautiful, poetic language. I like you on facebook so hopefully I will get to read more of your lovely words soon!

    June 14, 2013
  2. Shelly Roder said:

    Hi Beth, My first time on your site, as a newbie to the five minute fridays shindig. You are a gifted writer! And I can very much relate to the question you pose here – the question of being attentive, of paying attention. I know when my life feels so divided as a mother of three that I’m not paying attention to anything well enough that it helps if I stop trying to pay attention to all of it and return to a present moment, wonderful moment mindset. I appreciate your writing! Thanks

    June 14, 2013
  3. Katy said:

    Another Five Minute Friday visitor! I love your writing, Beth, and I can’t wait to read more. But first – I need to go gaze at the moon. Thanks :)

    June 14, 2013
  4. Jo said:

    “I see the moon and the moon sees me…”

    June 17, 2013

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