23 July 2013

Full Moon Last Night...

... So bright it flooded the bedroom. And I remembered the last one - the 'super moon' as the news called it - which did not seem as bright perhaps because of the clouds that night. 

I was in Louisville during that full moon, then home and then in New Mexico and Colorado.  Am at home now.  Lying in bed, the full moon bookended those weeks in ways that calendars can't.  I felt time differently, for a moment, as a tide or a pendulum or something I could sense physically. 

My IPhone and Ipad divide my day into even hours, like those hash marks on a football field.  And so I measure my life that way - in discrete abstract bits which do not actually exist the way sunrise arrives on the face, or spring comes with a smell. 

This morning, walking home from the Y (a self imposed rhythm that is as sure as the cardinal song at first light) while crossing the river I looked to the left.  Under the arch of the next bridge a heron stood in the water.  Its neck extended up, then curved in that typical way. 

I remembered a summer morning eight years ago, when crossing that same bridge going to the same Y, I saw a heron - this one? - flying low over the river, its long neck and spindle legs undulating with its wings. It flew under the bridge where I walked, appeared on other side and landed in fluid fluff of feathers on a rock in the river.  Wings settled into poised folds and the head turned around.  In the midst of the city, the bird and rock were oblivious to it, in the world as they had been before humans arrived. 

A young woman slightly ahead of me walked resolutely forward, pink backpack and sunglasses and black bangs and a 'Betty Boop' tattoo on her left calf.  I wanted to tell her about the bird.  But her pace said no. 

I turned to right, to see the rock, and then back to the left, to see the heron. It was gone.  I stopped a moment.  Looked around, hoping to see it again.  But no. 

There is a word in Japanese that does not exist elsewhere - shibui.  Herons and moons are shibui.  Cardinals at sunrise, the smell of dirt in winter, are shibui.  Why can't this be the clock we follow?