Posts Tagged ‘moonlight’

Fire & Ice

Fire & Ice, Winter Solstice Celebration, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2010, photos © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Sitting, staring out the window. The Hairy Woodpecker has found our suet feeder. This year we moved the deck feeders two feet South to protect them from the squirrels. The rodents can jump about 4 feet from the deck rail to the feeders if they put their minds to it. I love the woodpeckers and am happy they have found a safe place to feed for the Winter.

Last night we celebrated Winter Solstice. Holding On, Letting Go Letting go of what we want to leave in the Dark, making conscious choices about what to bring into the Light. I was quiet, more withdrawn than usual. Liz wore the Bear this year. I loved watching her dance down the path, calmly and playfully.

Ice Candle The night was cloudy, with a frigid West Wind blowing right into our faces. My fingers grew numb; I pulled them into my coat to keep warm. Homemade ice candles lit the path down to the fire ring. We didn’t hear the coyotes. Or the Great Horned Owl from last year. There were times when we stood by the fire in complete Silence. Other moments when drums and rattles were going full force. The drummer in me is happy at these rituals.

Morning finds me tired, sore, smelling like smoke from last year’s Yule tree. Solar Tree It’s 4 degrees as I type. A powerful Solstice is a day away. What makes it so potent is something that has not happened in 450 years — the combination of a Winter Solstice Blue Moon (the original meaning of a Blue Moon was Four Full Moons in one season) which coincides with a Total Lunar Eclipse.

According to NASA, an eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth’s Winter Solstice Fireshadow. Unlike a Solar Eclipse, it is safe to view with the naked eye. From a Shamanic perspective, the Total Lunar Eclipse collapses time and accelerates what’s already in motion. The rare Winter Solstice Full Moon Total Lunar Eclipse is a time that creates maximum synchronization of Solar and Lunar cycles, strengthening the power and intensity of the Sun and Moon together. When this happens the New Year brings increased understanding of a larger cycle of events at work in the world, and of lineage, the knowledge passed down from the Ancients.

Here are the times for Solstice & Eclipse events in Minnesota (CST):

Total Eclipse of the Moon — Tuesday, December 21st, 1:41am to 2:53am CST
Full Blue Moon in Gemini — Tuesday, December 21st, 2:13am CST
Winter Solstice 2010 — Tuesday, December 21st, at 5:38pm CST

Hours to view the reddish hues of the eclipsed December Moon vary, depending on where you live. In Europe and the eastern United States and Canada (time zones AST, Tiny Solstice MoonEST and CST), the entire eclipse occurs during the early morning hours of December 21, 2010. For the western United States and Canada (time zones MST and PST), the eclipse begins before midnight on the night of December 20, and ends sometime after midnight on the morning of December 21. In Alaska and Hawaii (time zones AKST and HST), most of the eclipse occurs on the night of December 20, but ends early on December 21.

You can find official times in your area at Mr. Eclipse and a detailed breakdown of the phases of this year’s Winter Solstice Total Lunar Eclipse. If you don’t feel like braving the elements, NASA is providing a live webcam at their site.

Another year is coming to a close. The frost on our windows tells me Winter is here to stay. We have had a cold December. One that finds pleasure in mimicking the sub-zero temps we usually see in January. And the snow! Almost three feet of it. Last weekend we were digging out. This weekend, back to the mundane chores of living. Chop wood, carry water. You can’t get away from it. Blue sky peeks over the oaks and ash. The woodpecker has flown from the feeder; a Lunar Eclipse is on the way.

2004 Lunar Eclipse Sequence, (c) 2004 Fred Espenak, courtesy Fred Espenak, Mr. Eclipse at http://www.mreclipse.com

-posted on red Ravine, Monday, December 20th, 2010 , partially based on a Sunday Writing Practice about Frost

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I sit between two windows, writing. The furnace clicks, gas whirrs, the blower turns on to warm the house. I opened the glass door when Liz went off to work; it took my breath away. Back to the WeatherBug on the desktop, -6. Mr. StripeyPants digs in the Iams Veterinary Formula we buy for Chaco to pull out a few choice morsels. I tap the keys, stare out the Northeast double-hung window to my left. It’s all sky, bare branches, and the tops of oaks. To the right, another window with blinds closed faces Northwest. It’s slightly behind me. Bad chi to have someone sneak up on you from behind, so I don’t open it when I’m writing. North by Northwest. I remember Hitchcock.

Windows remind me of freedom, peace. When I moved to Minnesota from Montana at age 30, I was new to the Twin Cities. I did not have a job. I didn’t know my way around. I got depressed for a time, took on the role of housewife. I’d get the chores done, watch As the World Turns (the only time in my life I have ever watched soap operas), then sit in a pine rocker and stare out the big picture window of our small apartment, the bottom of a two-story vintage 1920’s house.

The outside was white stucco. It was across from a castle-like church with a lawn that formed a triangle. Every day at 10am, children whose parents sent them to the 140-year-old St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran for elementary school would run out on the lawn for recess. The kids were noisy and happy, the teachers would circle them, blow their whistles, sometimes chase balls that dribbled out into the city street. At the bell, everyone lined up and went back inside, exactly on time.

There was a huge maple tree, tall, tall, tall, with a wide bushy crown on the side of the church next to the playground. Every Fall that tree would turn the most magnificent shade of golden red. It always took its time turning. Day by day I would watch it. I could not believe how absolutely perfect that tree was. It must have been over 100 years old. Years later, I would drive by the old apartment, the triangle, and the tree was gone. They had cut it down to make a parking lot. I cried.

The past never stays the same. It is always changing. Only memories keep it alive. What was, was, at least to us. What will be, we can only guess. Windows are a grounding point for me, a focal point. When I was a child, I used them as a form of escape when times were unpleasant. I have always rocked, from the time I was a little kid. Mom told me I used to rock and watch The Perry Como Show. She said I loved Perry Como. Windows hold freedom, escape. And sometimes they become walls. When we never go past the inside glass.

When I sit in Taos, I try to find a spot with facing windows across the room. Even if I don’t look out them when I meditate, I know they are there. And that’s the thing about windows. They let in the light, even when we forget they are doing it. Last night, the end of the March Full Moon shone through the bedroom window and landed on the pillow between Liz and me. She was sound asleep. The house was silent. I held my hand up so that the moonlight hit the tips of my fingers. There was no glow from the inside out, the way the sun shines, the way Liz came out of work yesterday with the bright winter sun blasting her windshield and said, “I feel like a mole!”

No, moonlight is reflective, subdued. And when shining through a Winter window, muted and glorious. How does it sneak past the blinds? What is it trying to tell me? When I moved to Minnesota, I didn’t have good job-hunting skills, though there was plenty of work. Now I have the skills and jobs are scarce. The Moon reminds me, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let anything stop you. If you could do anything in the world, even staring through windows, what would you choose? Within reason, within physical capacity, within the bounds and scope of a person your age, with your family genetics, in this time, I believe you can do it.

Easy does not enter the picture. Nothing worth dreaming about is easy. It’s easy to forget how many who are rich, famous, privileged worked hard to get where they are, to follow their dreams. With privilege and wealth come expectations. Families are families, rich or poor, the 1920’s or the 21st century. It’s not money that makes dreams come true. It’s taking the risk. I had a dream earlier this week. I was walking at Ghost Ranch, hiking the red iron soil in the beating sun near Box Canyon when, in an instant, I was raised off the ground, hanging on to the hand of a man with a black umbrella. He was rising in the sky next to a gray elephant. I kid you not.

A trail of other objects and animals ran behind us like a kite tail. The elephant was weightless, not a care in the world. I remember the bodily sensation of flying, of my stomach dropping when we hit a wind current, a down draft. Then came the next thermal. I felt like the raptors I so love, riding the thermals, floating on air. In that minute, I knew that anything was possible. And all the windows that once guarded and protected me were nowhere to be found.

-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, March 12th, 2009

-related to Topic post:  WRITING TOPIC — WINDOW

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Hunters Moon (Over The Weisman), Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Hunter’s Moon (Over The Weisman), Minneapolis, Minnesota,
October 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights

I watched October’s moon all month long. The Full Hunter’s Moon rose over the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art after a soft rain. The museum winds upward along the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. That night we were there to see a one of a kind video performance by R. Luke DuBois, along with his exhibit Hindsight is Always 20/20 .

The Weisman, designed by acclaimed architect Frank O. Gehry, spirals high above the Mississippi River. Moonlight reflects off her curves, and the city beams in ripples that echo off sweeping balconies. Every time I see the building, I think of Sydney Pollack’s Sketches of Frank Gehry and the way the two men were playful, yet articulate, when they bantered back and forth about their craft; they each shot for the moon.

Last night, while Liz was finishing up last minute details on Rendering & Return, an Red Synonym Finder, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Intermedia video performance she created and will be showing this weekend, I grabbed The Synonym Finder she had just put down on the couch, and looked up the word moonstruck. That led to another word, and another, until I was knee-deep in moons.

I learned about The Synonym Finder from Natalie at one of her workshops. We are the proud owners of two. It was compiled by Jerome Irving (J.I.) Rodale in 1978 and contains more than 1,500,000 words on 1,376 pages.

It might weigh in at over 5 pounds, but writers — don’t leave home without it.

I’m tired tonight and only have enough steam for a short post. Circling back to moonwriting, these are a few expressions I have run into in my research, words and phrases to describe the October moon:

Falling Leaves Moon
White Frost On The Grass & Ground Moon
Moon When The Water Begins To Freeze On The Edge Of The Streams
Moon When The Birds Fly South
Leaves Change Color Moon
Bears Hibernate Moon
Month of Long Hair
Moon When The Wind Shakes Off The Leaves
Month of the First Frost
Wilted Moon
Rutting Moon
Hunter’s Moon
Travels In Canoe Moon
Big Wind Moon

Ripples, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Ripples, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis,
Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008 by
QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

And from The Synonym Finder, letters moonlighting as words help to explain Autumn’s 10th Moon; October’s waning splendor; the November Full Moon I discovered a moment ago, rising behind me over the oaks.

moon  n.  1. satellite, secondary planet, celestial body, Archaic. lamp.
2. new moon, increscent moon, waxing moon, decrescent moon, waning moon, old moon; crescent, lune, meniscus, half-moon, demilune; full moon, hunter’s moon, harvest moon; disk, orb, sphere, globe, ball.
3. month, lunation, lunar month
4. once upon a blue moon rarely, seldom, not very often, hardly ever.
__v. 5. Informal. daydream, dream, fantasize, imagine, indulge in reverie, gaze or look out the window, stargaze, go off into one’s own world; mope, pine, languish, brook; fret, sulk, pout.
6. Informal. (all of time) waste, squander, fritter, spend idly, pass, Sl. blow.

moonlight, n. 1. moonshine, Fr. clair de lune, moonbeams, Fr. rayons de lune.
___v.  2. Informal. work two jobs, work nights.

moon-shaped, adj. crescent, crescentic, crescent-shaped, demilune, half-moon, meniscoid; lunate, lunar, lunular, lunulate, luniform; sickle-shaped, falcate, faliform, bicorn; semiglobular, hemispheric; curved, bow-shaped, convexo-concave, semicircular.

moonshine, n. 1. U.S. Informal. U.S. bootleg, Sl. hootch, smuggled or contraband whiskey, Fr. alcool de contraband; homemade whiskey, corn whiskey.
2. moonlight, Fr. clair de lune, moonbeams, Fr. rayons de lune.
3. nonsense, Sl. hot air, humbug, claptrap, rodomontade, fustian, bombast, rant; idle or foolish talk, Inf. gab, Sl. gas, palaver, chatter, chit-chat, jabber, prate; jargon, gobbledegook, Jabberwocky, gibberish, babble, Fr. bavardage, twaddle, Brit. twattle, blather, drivel; foam, froth, bunkum, Sl. bunk, U.S. Sl. blah; flummery, Inf. hokum, Sl. applesauce, Sl. eyewash; rubbish, Sl. tripe, refuse, Dial. culch, chaff, trash, Inf. garbage, Sl. crap, Sl. crock, Sl. bull; balder-dash, Sl. horsefeathers, hogwash, stuff, stuff and nonsense, Inf. bosh, Brit. Inf. gammon, Brit. Sl. tosh, fudge, foolishness, folly, rigmarole, amphigory; footle, Inf. malarkey, Sl. bushwa, Sl. baloney, Sl. bilge or bilge water, Sl. meshugaas, Scot. and North Eng. haver; poppycock, Inf. fiddle-faddle, Inf. piffle, Inf. hooey, Inf. kibosh, Inf. flapdoodle.

moon-struck adj. 1. crazed, crazy, mad, maddened, lunatic, lunatical, insane, demented, deranged, dazed, moon-stricken, possessed, infatuated; of unsound mind, Latin non compos mentis, mentally ill, daft, Inf. daffy, unbalanced, touched. Inf. unglued. Inf. half-baked, Brit. Sl. bonkers. Brit Sl. barmy, unhinged, distracted; brainsick, Sl. kooky, Sl. meshuga; U.S. Sl. balmy, dippy, batty, bats, cuckoo, buggy, bughouse, bugs, screwy, wacky, wacko, goofy, loony, squirrely, bananas, nuts, nutty, nutty as a fruitcake.
2. out of one’s head or mind or senses or wits. Scot. redwood, Sl. loco, mad as a hatter, mad as a March hare, far-gone, stark raving mad; not all there, not quite right, not right upstairs; Inf. out in left field, Sl. in outer space, Sl. in orbit, Inf. off the wall; Inf. Cracked, Inf. mental, Sl. off one’s rocker, Sl. out of one’s tree, Sl. off one’s trolley, Brit. Sl. off one’s chump.
3. hysterical, delirious, maniacal, madding, Archaic. wood; frantic, frenzied, frenetic; ranting, raving, storming, foaming at the mouth; beside oneself, at wit’s end; out of control, uncontrollable, corybantic, Inf. haywire, berserk, rabid, wild.

Nightlight Downtown, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Nightlight Downtown, Weisman Art Museum,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 2008, photo
© 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, November 13th, 2008,
rabid and wild on the inside, in need of sleep on the outside,
basking in the light of November’s Full Moon

-related to posts: PRACTICE – September Harvest Moon – 15 min, Against The Grain (August Moon), The Many Moons Of July (Digging Deeper), winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min

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