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Posts Tagged ‘writing about the moon’

November Frost Moon, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


The moon is beautiful in the Fall. Maybe it’s because in October I traveled to Pennsylvania, drove down to Georgia and South Carolina, then flew back to Minnesota, that I paid more attention to the skies. Or because I’m out driving during the day and the Moon grounds me to the sky. Yesterday the sun set in a giant orange ball over three cemeteries on the way home from work. It sank before I could get my BlackBerry camera into position.

I’ve been enjoying the new BlackBerry. Have taken a few hundred photos with the phone camera over the last month. It’s quick and easy and I can post to Twitter as soon as I shoot. I like the grain of the nightshots. Not as clear as with my regular Canon G6 point and shoot. But spontaneous and fun.

I wanted to post these shots of the November Frost Moon. Liz and I were stopped by its beauty on the way to get a Redbox movie, drove off on a side road by a local park, slipped out and shot a few images with our cell phones. Do you take phone shots? What do you do with the images? I’m thinking about uploading them into a Flickr set.

I posted a series of Moonshots in 2008. Made it a practice to follow the monthly patterns of the moon. Back then, I missed November and posted Frost Moon (Faux November) instead. This is my way of making up with the Moon. On these dark Fall days, I’m happy for the light of the Frost Moon. Winter Solstice is just around the corner.

BlackBerry Moon, BlackBerry Shots,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2009, all
photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, November 7th, 2009

-more Lunar posts from over the years by ybonesy & QuoinMonkey in 13 Moons

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Venus In Red, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December  2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Venus In Red, Minneapolis, Minnesota, shot December 1st, 2008 with a point-and-shoot Canon, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 
 

On December 1st, the Moon aligned in a triad with the elusive beauty of Venus and the expansiveness of Jupiter. Born in the sign of Cancer, the Moon is my ruling planet. I was alerted that morning by my sister-in-law and brother in Pennsylvania. By the time night rolled around, the frigid winter sky offered a clear, firsthand view from my deck in Minnesota.

My sister-in-law also provided a link to an article in the comments on Frost Moon (Faux November) which gives an excellent synopsis of a night spectacle which will not be seen again until 2052. Here are a few more tidbits from Look to Sky for Spectacular Sight Monday by Joe Rao of Space.com:

 
 

  • the Moon was 15% illuminated in close proximity to the two brightest planets in our sky, Venus and Jupiter
  • Jupiter in this photograph is just above Venus and moving in the opposite direction. By the end of December, Jupiter will meet up with the planet Mercury, but will be descending deep into the glow of sunset.
  • Earth shines between 45 and 100 times more brightly than the Moon
  • the Moon is approximately 251,400 miles from Earth
  • Venus is nearly 371 times farther away than the Moon, 93.2 million miles from Earth
  • Jupiter is almost 2,150 times farther away than the Moon, 540.3 million miles from Earth
  • With the naked eye you could see the full globe of the Moon, with the darkened portion glowing bluish-gray between a sunlit crescent and not much darker sky. The vision is sometimes called “the Old Moon in the Young Moon’s arms.” Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was the first to recognize it as what we now call Earthshine.
  • Earthshine is sunlight which is reflected off Earth to the moon and then reflected back to Earth



Dancing On The Head Of A Pin, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December  2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Front & Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December  2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

The Moon Courts Venus & Jupiter, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December  2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Midrange, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Cradle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, December 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



In addition to the December triangulation of the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter, last Friday, December 12th (12th month, 12th day, and the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe) was the Full December Cold Moon. It was the 13th Moon since Winter Solstice 2007 and a Blue Moon by the traditional definition. I had dinner with a friend and the night was again crystal clear for the Cold Moon with glowing rings illuminating nearby clouds.

There is a great article on the Blue Moon by Cayelin K Castell at Celestial Timings called Understanding the Blue Moon (with dates to 2040). In the article, she explains that although popular culture’s definition of Blue Moon is two full moons in a one-month period, Sky and Telescope Magazine states the original meaning of the Blue Moon is when there are four Full Moons in one season, creating 13 Full Moons from December Solstice to December Solstice.

It’s a rare event that only happens every two and half to three years. The New Moon Winter Solstice is this weekend. Bear awaits in the darkness.


-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

-related to posts: winter haiku trilogy, PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min

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MoonRise Near The Bridge, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

MoonRise Near The I-35 Bridge, July Thunder Moon masquerading as November’s Frost Moon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.








Frost Moon haiku

hawk moon, beaver moon
freezing river maker moon
red fire in the heart


November Frost Moon
never saw the camera
appears in July








Note:  Though I closely watched the Frost moon rise and fall throughout the month of November, she eluded my Canon. I never got a good shot of the November moon. Looking back through my archives, I decided to post these shots from the July Thunder Moon.

It was a beautiful summer night. I was walking across the 10th Street Bridge in Minneapolis with a couple of friends. We stood across from the I-35 bridge (still under construction) at the exact point where the middle was about to meet. When we turned around to walk back, the sun was setting; the Thunder Moon was rising in the East.

Many of the names for the November moon reference flowing rivers about to freeze over from the approaching cold. The Mississippi was warm on this July night, another winter yet to come. I am nearing the end of a year of posting these Moonwriting practices. One more — the December Solstice Moon is just around the corner.



10th Street Bridge Moonrise, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Moon Curve, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved

10th Street Bridge Moonrise, Moon Curve, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, November 29h, 2008

-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 haiku (one-a-day)

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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
reserved.



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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Dance by the light of the moon. Which moon? September, the Harvest Moon, the Yellow Leaf Moon. But if you are Haida, near the cool waters of Alaska and British Columbia, it might be the Ice Moon. For the Ojibwe, the Rice Moon. Cherokee, the Black Butterfly Moon. Climate changes the way the moon clings to the sky.

No matter the temperature, September is a transitional month. Warm one day, cool the next. Nights start to dip. On the last day of September, our heat kicked on for the first time. We opened the windows to let the “burnt dust” smell flow out into the wind. Then bundled up on the couch. It’s sweatshirt season. The time to dress in layers is upon us.

The Harvest Moon always looks bigger to me. The full moon was dramatic, a red smear across the sky. You could barely make it out behind the mist off the lake. I start to go inside in the Fall. I am internal. It’s a good time to write. And rest. I would miss the seasons so, if I lived in a climate that did not shift with the turning Earth.

I once thought I wanted to study the stars. That was before I saw how much math was involved. The exacting part of the Heavens is fascinating. But the mystery is what holds me. Not knowing is more exciting than knowing. I still believe in Santa Claus. Fairies are alive and well with the Hobbits in the forest. Trolls and gnomes dot the darkness of Sleepy Hollow. I’ll take the mystery over the facts any day.

That doesn’t work in real life. You can drown in what you don’t know. There’s a fine balance between being informed and obsessed. But I remember writing practices on — What are your obsessions? Because they hold a lot of juice. What are my obsessions?

I watch the Moon, the Sun, the Stars. I want to know what makes the Earth tick. I’m obsessed with understanding love and forgiveness. The breakdowns, the shattered dreams, the loss of control, the forgetfulness of the last broken heart, the wild abandon that makes a person fall in love.

I am obsessed with wind and trees. A single burnt umber leaf against a cerulean sky (I like to say the word cerulean). I want to understand what makes a family tick, the ghostlike qualities of memories, how we come to love the people we love, why people stick, then fade into the sunset, or drop off entirely, the clean hatchet cleave. Sharp. Close. Far away. Serrated. Here. Gone. I’m obsessed with photography, mandalas, finding my way in spite of the erratic, misleading compass needle. Where is True North? I want to know where I fit in.

I’m obsessed with community, with the good work of everyday teaching, with the smell of wood smoke and the sound of the Downy woodpecker snapping away on a turning ash branch. Have you ever noticed the erratic way a woodpecker flies? They look like giant hummingbirds, darting, rising, falling, but always landing on their feet. Sideways, clinging to the side of a rough barked tree. I’m obsessed with what connects and what separates. And why humans can’t seem to grasp — there is no difference between the two.

The 9th Full Moon has passed. Farmers plow bulging fields by the light of the moon. Two years out of three, the Harvest Moon falls in September. Corn, rice, beans, and wild rice reach their full potential. Under the Maize Moon, where the deer paw the earth, why can’t we?



-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, October 9th, 2008

-related to posts: Against The Grain (August Moon), The Many Moons Of July (Digging Deeper), winter haiku trilogy, Squaring The Circle — July Mandalas (Chakras & Color), PRACTICE – Wolf Moon – 10min

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Scratchy Moon (Against The Grain), a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Scratchy Moon (Against The Grain), a Moon Mandala, oil pastel & colored pencil, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






Against The Grain (August Moon)


Yellow flower moon
the corn is in silken maize
8th moon, plum moon, hot moon

shedding summer feathers,
Red cherries turn to black,
the drying up moon —

After the berries ripen on the mountain
and the geese in chevron begin to fly
I’m dazed, standing here in human confusion
crying, what next?






Black Curve, a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Pink Curve, a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.Pink Curve, a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

August Moon, a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.August Moon, a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.August Moon, a Moon Mandala, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, September 21st, 2008

-related to posts: The Many Moons Of July (Digging Deeper), winter haiku trilogy, Coloring Mandalas, Squaring The Circle — July Mandalas (Chakras & Color)

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MoonSet, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

MoonSmear, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

MoonShine, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Moonset, Moonsmear, Moonshine, July Moons over Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, all photos © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




I was on the road for most of the many moons of July. Under the Full Thunder Moon, I traveled to Pennsylvania by plane, with intentions of heading on to Georgia and South Carolina by car. I planned the trip months ago, to drive South to do more research for my memoir, to work with my mother on missing pieces of the family tree. But all did not go as planned.

My brother went into the ICU the day before I left for Pennsylvania. And Mom and I weren’t even sure we should make the trip to Georgia at all. Mom spent a whole week, sometimes 8 hours a day, with my sister-in-law in waiting rooms, visiting at J’s side. His dad drove up from South Carolina and sat with us, too. I watched my parents (only recently connected again after over 40 years) standing side by side together over J’s bed. They never wavered. There were tears. And laughter. Things turned. 

By a miracle and a lot of prayers, my brother is out of the hospital. And though he is not yet out of the woods, he is home and in the arms of family caregivers. A whole new regimen begins, his recovery. It is stressful for family members in a different way. It is through crises like these that you get to see what a family is made of. Each member shows up in the ways that he or she can; it is not the same for everyone.



MoonSlit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.



I am back in Minnesota. And in some ways removed. I have always been the one who has lived away from home, miles and miles away (at least 1200 miles have separated me and my family since I was in my early 20’s). It can be a helpless feeling. And I have had my share of guilt. But distance offers a different perspective. It is not something I would have wished, but under the Salmon Moon (Haidi) in the Month of the Fledgling Hawk (Kelmuya), I gained an overview. And realized all that I have shielded myself from by living so far away.

I have great admiration and respect for the members of my family. They really show up for one another regardless of what else is going on between them. They have integrity and grace and humor. And they are crazy and stubborn and flawed, as all families are — as I am. Thank goodness for that. In each member of my family I see my own strengths; and I see my weaknesses. Whatever I see inside them — it’s in me, too.

The trip was a mixed blessing of sadness, fear, laughter and joy. At the Grass Cutter Moon (Abenaki), Mom, Liz, and I visited the islands and towns where my ancestors homesteaded. We walked where they had walked in the 1600’s and 1700’s. Liz flew into Georgia, my dad met us for breakfast, I had a wonderful birthday, and a great time on St. Simons and in Savannah. But there were moments I felt alone, scared, fearful of the future. I was holding it all; my family was holding it all. Because all of this makes up life.

Under the Moon of the Horse (Apache) I accomplished more toward my goals of researching and shaping a memoir. It was different from last June. I was digging deeper emotionally; I had to grow up a little more. Under the Ripe Corn Moon (Cherokee), I ripened, too. Through all of the recorded years of births and deaths, walking marble graves and granite cemeteries with Mom, I am more aware than ever that one day, I will be there, too. So will we all. And we have no idea when that time might come.

 

 Moon Over Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Moon Over Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 2008, all photos © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.




Three things I learned (again) under the Thunder Moon:

  • Memoir is about the past. The past can be healing; the past can be sad. When you dig into the past, be prepared for what you will find.
  • When you write, you have to be willing to hold everything – past, present, future – grief, sadness, loss, joy. In order to do hold everything, you have to stay present to the moment.
  • Life and death continue on with or without you. Don’t be tossed away.




-posted on red Ravine, Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

-related to posts: PRACTICE – Summer – 20min, Thunder Moon haiku (July), winter haiku trilogy

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