The night of the supermoon, I burned myself on a pan full of spinach and mushrooms and a bit of garlic, which I was cooking for my mom. I was rushing and when I went to set the spatula down, I didn’t realize how far down I was placing it and set my arm straight onto the rim of the pan. Immediately the burn went white as the moon. I ran some cold water over it, should have iced it immediately, but I wanted to get outside, wanted to see the big moon on the horizon, wanted to feel it at its Biggest and Pumpkiniest. It began blistering as I cooked.
As soon as I was done, I grabbed a bag of frozen peas and carrots from the freezer, the go-to bag for injuries. They’ve defrosted and been refrozen a hundred times over. I cradled them in my arms, the burn in an awkward spot on the underside of my wrist, and called the dog to head out with me.
We walked up the street, me looking up and around. A woman was heading down the block toward us, and as I glanced her way I could see her eying me warily. There I was, my jeans rolled up, one leg higher than the other, a dog wandering nearby, a bag of frozen vegetables in the crook of one arm, my head thrown back as I stumbled uncertainly along my way.
"Oh hi," I called out, hoping to reassure her. "I’m just looking for the moon."
She smiled, reassured of exactly one thing, and continued on her way. After almost 20 years since the day I first set foot in Berkeley, I’d finally become what I’d always resisted. Another Berkeley weirdo.
I kept walking and waiting. I did see the moon eventually that night, although it took me longer to find than I’d like to admit. I was behind the hills, behind a lot of buildings and trees and a playground and my own ridiculous normal head-in-the-clouds natural state of being. The burn is still a dark red. It hasn’t faded away. So I think about it plenty.
Sometimes I tell a story that makes people laugh, about being in a yoga class once, when a male teacher asked, “Are any of your on your moons?” It was horrible and gross and funny as shit.
But you know, the moon goes in cycles and so do we, not just women but people. For me, the supermoon came at the end of the second of two major ten-year cycles. The first was terrible. The second was fixing the terrible, but it was still very difficult. I don’t know what the third will bring, but so far some amazing pieces are falling into place. What I do know is that the burn seems in part to have both cauterized the end of the previous cycle - there! done! you goddamn did it - but also to serve as a reminder of what I learned.
Over the past two weeks I’ve experienced some emotional turmoil in something I thought, hoped was one of the remarkable pieces as I started this next ten-year cycle. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but right now, it’s difficult and painful. In the past, I might have let it throw me or derail me entirely, messing up everything else in my life, might have let it hurt me so deeply I have to focus all my energy on it. And sure, it has hurt me. But over the past two weeks, I’ve focused and relied on the other wonderful things I’m fortunate enough to be building, and made sure I kept those in full swing. More than that, I was delighted by them, even on tough days, and grateful to have them in my life. Those are just as important. Funny how building a solid base will keep you stable, isn’t it.
At first, when I realized I wasn’t being as tough or as strong or as graceful as I wanted, I was afraid I hadn’t learned anything from my past experiences. Hadn’t changed, hadn’t grown, hadn’t bothered to improve. Then I realized I had, because I’d kept everything else rolling along. We’ve always got stuff to work on and improve - at least I do - and now I know where to fine tune.
I also know it might be time to start a podcast called “Our Bodies, Our Moons”.
Source: Flickr / ohheygreat