Every month as soon as the crescent first appears I watch the moon grow night by night. I cling to its light. I love it deeply for a number of reasons. It feels like my moon and I feel like I am hers. Once, many years ago in a dream, I travelled to the moon, and as I, and a couple of anonymous fellow space travellers, exited our spaceship all suited up, I saw across the lunar landscape a space station that had got there before us. I can still remember being incredibly surprised at the level of secrecy that had been maintained about this massive lunar mission.
This is the second full moon this month and is therefore called a Blue Moon, and it couldn’t be more aptly named. We have entered into Aries and Elle’s birthday is coming around again – she will be twenty-nine years old . I have been a little possessed by the full moons since she died, and magically I have even managed to imprint her face on it. Every month, on full moon night, I spend a while moon bathing and having a little chat with her. It is also a moment I share with someone who was special to her before she died. I knew nothing of him until the day before, when she brought him back to Greg’s home. He told me that the full moon of 18 August had been a special night for them. I know that they joked that their children’s names would be Luna, his choice, and Nova, hers. So even the New Moon gets a look in on the relationship. This is the twentieth lunar anniversary coming up soon so we shall exchange notes again. And yes, that applies equally to him as it does to her. The moon, I mean.
Peter and I enjoy the fact that we now can get Netflix on our TV, and if terrestrial TV is boring, as it so often is these days, we can switch across easily and find something more stimulating to watch. And sometimes it comes up with suggestions. I had noted one particular suggestion that has been hanging around for a few weeks, and tonight, after PB went to bed, I decided to watch it. It is called The Center Will Not Hold, a documentary about Joan Didion, put together by members of her extended family. I think I may look like her when I get to eighty! So many things she said I could identify with but probably most of all it is the detachment she felt held her back from participating more fully in her life.
Something else she mentioned was that her daughter, Quintana, when asked what kind of mother she had been to her, answered that she had found her quite remote. I don’t know what my girls think or thought of me, but I fear that they may answer something a little similar. Wrongly or rightly, though, I think they both forgive me. Another familiar moment was seeing her book on a shelf, and on one side was a book by Kurt Vonnegut and on the other side was Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook. Both would feature in a list of the most influential literary moments in my life.
After Elle died, and a few months later when I decided that the only way forward for me was to write, the next book I read was Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. And that is where the big difference between us begins. She is a magician with words, and when you listen to her and read her books she oozes essential oils through all the pores of her body. I knew that I could never compete in my writing, but what her book did do was give me a sense of freedom to express myself in words in my own way. There is no doubt she gave me the courage to write. In fact, I have been so honest that it may make it unpublishable.
I think I have made it clear that synchronicity has played a big role throughout my life, and even more so since Elle died. It is from where I get my strength and direction when all is going well. But as soon as I lose confidence, and that happens quite easily, and wham, self-disappointment hits me in the solar plexus and says, “Haven’t I told you enough times already? Look deeper.”
It is by these beacons of synchronicity, and not forgetting the light of the moon, that I find the next step on my path, and my faith is strengthened once again. Their light brings into clarity what I still have – a good partner in life, an amazing daughter, and now two beautiful grandsons. I am blessed with a loving family and the most beautiful friends. All will be good.