The Woman in the Moon
The moon is brimming this evening. It is a Van Gogh moon, framed by my writing room window, and hanging in the uppermost corner of my personal “Starry Night”. Granted, it is a star-less night outside my window; but the spirit of Van Gogh swirls in it, in the darkness, the haziness around the edges of the moon, the black lines of the trees, the fingertips of the branches. There will be a moment when the moon can hold no more, its arms full. I love that image, the moon’s arms full.
Instead of a man in the moon, I imagine a Woman in the Moon. She is full of breast, and large of hip and thigh and belly, like those tiny clay goddesses that archaeologists unearth in remote places. In my night-sky, the Woman in the Moon holds her arms out from her body in a perfect arc. The circle of her arms forms a womb, and within this fullness, within this curvature, is held the night secrets – the promises and whispers, the waxing and waning, how time began and how time ends. Around her, the celestial currents and eddies swirl, the pull of the tides. It is all there, in Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and in this evening, too.
If you look closely at my Woman in the Moon, you’ll see that her skin is smooth as alabaster, and she is as calm as deep sleep, deep space. Her eyes are closed, and you think she dreams. As I grow older, I’m shifting my perspective as a creator, as a wordsmith, working to emulate the quiet calmness of the Woman in the Moon, learning from her wisdom. I no longer focus on my artistic shortcomings, trying to rectify them by creating resolutions, or setting lofty goals, or writing longer or harder, or being a tougher critic of my work and myself.
Instead I’m contemplating what makes me happy, fulfilled, full-filled, what makes me feel “moonish,” a woman-in-the-moon. I plan to fill my creative life with these things until my arms are full. The list is simple. Story-dreaming, story-crafting. Poetry. The minute details of nature. Rivers, water. Family, friends.
And a special little boy-in-the-moon. The child in my life who holds the universe in his eyes. If I can reflect in my creative work even a glimmer of the wonder held in his eyes, then I will have accomplished more in my writing than I could have ever imagined, than I could have ever expected. And that, to me, in the end, is what art is all about – evoking a sense of wonder.