Thursday, October 22, 2015

My Moonity

I am, and always have been, for as long as I can recall, utterly smitten by the moon. Nothing else is quite shocking, that blatantly reminding of the fact that we are a part of something beyond daily absurdities.

Why I'm writing about my Moon Affinity (Moonity)? Because I am awake much earlier than expected on a public holiday and I've had a message from my sister asking me why both my status and profile picture on WhatsApp is about the moon. And because I gave her such a detailed reply, it only triggered the writer in me and I knew I would have to come and spew it all on this vastly ignored blog.

My relationship with the moon has been cultivating itself from a very young age.

My earliest memory of the moon is reading about it with my sister in this cute children's book. It was probably a different story or poem but I keep thinking it was in the same book or part of the story where there is a shoehouse where the house is a big boot, and people, or some kind of animals, were staying inside this weird house.

Another memory of admiring the moon goes back to when I was 11, returning home from a trip to the USA at 4 AM, and being jolted awake randomly in the plane which was completely dark because all the lights were off and all the windows were drawn. As soon as I awoke, I opened up my window and there it was, straight in my line of sight, the moon in all its full, fat, white, round glowing glory. I honestly felt shaken by it. The suddenness of it. I didn't want to share it with anyone. It felt so personal. And the moon, it was so big. I had never seen it that up close and personal before and I cherished it. Because I didn't want to share it, I stuck my face on the window till it felt like I wasn't even in the plane anymore, but 10 centimeters out, assuming that's how thick airplane windows are, into the stratosphere just floating oblivious to the cold air and fatal air pressure watching the moon and the moon watching me. I didn't want it to end. I still think of that night sometimes and how it affected my young thoughts, my wondering journey.

Another memory I treasure is of reaching home from another trip very early in the morning, I think it might have been 5:30 am or so, and getting out from the car in my grandma's building compound, and looking up at the sky and seeing the crescent moon, almost yellow, quite far away. It was looking like it was going to go away soon. Like I had to see it before it disappeared.

For a college trip some years ago, we went to Jabalpur in Rajasthan and stayed in the desert in tents for one night. We ended up chilling out of the tent before sleeping and lying down, singing and talking while looking at the moon. I can't remember sleeping deeper than I did that night, it was one of those nights where you close your eyes and an instant later you open them and its morning.

Thereafter there were many such moony memories and I remember when I was between 16-18 years old, I used to sleep on my bed in the opposite direction (still do some times) just to see the moon. I would have to crane my neck quite a bit for the right angle but it was worth it to just admire it before sleep came over.

My Moonity guarantees that I see the moon a fair bit in my dreams and nightmares. I wrote about my Dead Moon Boat dream once. Moon we meet again and Moony and Moody are other moony posts I have written. Very recently I had another dream which was quite disturbing. The moon had been pulled unnaturally close to the Earth as if Bruce Almighty did it. I was in Belgium and I was looking right at it. It was like so zoomed in and so close. Like I could literally walk to it.

I went to Australia last month and my family stayed at this beautiful secluded AirBnB property in Cedar Creek, Queensland. We were staying with this amazing family with lots of farm animals. A pony named Arizona, a pug (!!!!) named Sydney, a sheep named Melbourne, and lots of birds, fish, guinea pigs. Our third night there, the full moon was out. We went out to the porch and helped set up our host's telescope. The moon was so bright it was the very first time in my life that I could see so well just because of moonlight. It bathed the entire scenery so well. I just couldn't believe the light. So bindingly and blindingly bright. Then I saw the moon through the telescope. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It had such blurry edges. That's the day my sister told me that the moon has no light of its own and its merely reflecting off sunlight. That's why it's edges weren't perfect. I had never seen the moon this up close, it wasn't this bright even in the plane all those years ago. Even its surface was so imperfect. Nonetheless, I was charmed like never before. I am so grateful for that experience. Later, just me and my sister went downstairs and lay down on the bench, moon gazing. The starlight weakened so you could barely see the stars. The night was meant for "mooning". You would have to be a total fool to stay in and watch TV and ignore seeing what you could have seen that night.

I was gifted a year long book subscription on my birthday. Literally the best gift I've ever received. I was browsing through the online library and found the most apt book ever about the moon. It's called "The Moon Watcher's Companion: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Moon, and More" by Donna Henes. Obviously I had to get it and as luck would have it I barely had to wait and got the book last week. The book is the reason for this post. It has awakened my Moonity so nicely.

Sometimes I feel the moon is like a guard, it is very maternal and wants to keep watch and when the sun abandons us by the night by sinking into the sea, she comes, usually late, but usually just in time to keep one eye, like a peek, and sometimes she manages to draw her full attention, and show herself completely, just so we have some light to live by. What does she know we have invented fire and CFL lightbulbs.

I love you, Moon.