posted on April 29, 2010 22:34
I am struggling to fall asleep tonight—or should I say this morning, the first moments of April 30, 2010, the 20th anniversary of my graduation from college. My brain could not power down after reading some heavy material, and then I got hungry. Shortly after that, one of my kids woke up from a nightmare. Here I am.
During a venture downstairs I glanced out the front window and caught sight of a brilliant, glowing full moon in all of its serenity and majesty. I’ve always been in awe at how close the moon appears to the earth’s surface, and how such perceived proximity is the same for every beholder on the planet. It seems so…right there, and yet not right there by any means.
And for every other person who at this moment happens to be awake and in a time zone where it is also night, the moon is a silent, shared experience. It is beyond—literally—socio-economic, religious, political, racial, cultural, etc., differences. It has a certain symbiotic connection with the earth, and its lovely state of non-evaluation reminds me tonight of a certain symbiotic connection that flows between each of us moon watchers.
My hope as slumber eludes me is that I will find even more elusive the tendencies to downgrade or dilute this symbiosis. I pray that the silence of watching the moon translates more frequently into the silence of watching my inner thinker. The gentle presence of the moon strikes me tonight as a metaphor related to simply seeing things as they are, and therefore growing more willing to see people as they really are and not as I presume or want them to be.
Twenty years ago, I was tapped into far too little stillness and not much silence. The moon was there, and I occasionally took notice and perhaps once in a great while I saw people as they really were. Today I am a veteran worker, a more experienced writer, a husband and a father, and many events and moments have unfolded that have shaped the raw material I was at 22 into a more cohesive identity at 42.
And yet, 20 years from now, if I am still privileged to gaze at the moon, I hope to have learned to become even more consistent at gazing into the wondrous complexity of another being—and seeing the beauty and mystery that is right there and yet somehow beyond the lasso-like grasp of category and duality.