Photo by Doctor Popular www.DocPop.org
Tonight’s full moon has a lot of people’s attention. More than most. It’s being called a Super Moon. Which is funny to me. People are afraid right now. Afraid of earthquakes and Tsunamis and Nuclear catastrophe. When we are afraid in mass, we look for massive solutions.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a bright light in the sky, an obvious honest marker, unavoidable and impossible to ignore, warning us to seek higher ground, or take shelter, or leave town, or at the very least feel justified in our hyper vigilance that some real shit was about to go down?
It hailed in SF and the East Bay last night. Serious, thick, pull over your car and wait for it to end hail. Hail that city folks are just not prepared for. The lightning show was intense too. There was a tornado warning in San Mateo County earlier in the day.
Extreme weather makes people here uncomfortable. It’s like a bargain we’ve struck in our minds: we’ll deal with the eminent, inevitable and unpredictable earthquakes as long as the weather is nice. And I think we feel a little bit cheated when the weather doesn’t keep up it’s end of the compact. Like, really? I have to contend with the daily reality of the earth shaking the city to bits, landslides and pavement being ripped apart like a bodice seam and NOW there’s a tornado warning? Fuck that!
Which is why what has happened and what is continuing to happen in Japan is absolutely terrifying. Anyone who lives on the Ring of Fire has to feel it. It could happen to any of us. It will happen to all of us. I’ve donated what I could to the relief effort in Japan. But still, just a week before the EQ, tsunami, volcano eruption and nuclear meltdown in Japan, Kilauea had an eruption and the Big Island recored 150 earthquakes.
Christchurch, NZ is still in the midst of recuperating from their 6.3 February 22 earthquake.
Again, we are a bargain striking species. If there are such great forces outside of our control that lead to devastating natural disasters which can happen at any time, should there not be an equally great force, again outside of our control, that exists to help us out? A balance? A counter? A regulator? If the Pacific Rim is out to get us, can the Moon be there to save us? It sounds crazy, I know. But that’s what I’m hearing. Especially from my non-religious folks. People with religion have this whole bargaining system down. I think organized religion may be the first example of collective bargaining rights ever.
I pay attention to the weather because I was taught to. My grandfather was a walking Farmer’s Almanac. I felt this lightning storm coming since the day before yesterday. I expected the hail. My grandfather explained the Ring of Fire to me when I was 11. He taught me what he knew about plate tectonics, when it was mostly conjecture and hypothesis since the technology we have today didn’t exist. He taught me about the extreme percariousness of living on a round planet. How stress on any part of the arc can be released on any other arc in an oval and how to estimate the magnitude of natural disaster by multiplying the number of people raising their children at the center of the place where that stress is being released.
By being informed the mysterious and anxious ‘why’ went away. Maybe that was his goal, maybe not. Maybe he was just a nerd happy to have a captive audience in his granddaughter.
As an adult, I follow the moon phases and the path of the sun because it is comforting to me. I feel connected. I love metaphor and symbolism. I like the assumption of a direct link to forces so much bigger than me. But I know that the universe doesn’t strike bargains. So, while I appreciate the moon coming so close to us for just one night, and I will use this full moon as a focus for my meditation and writings and reflection, really, I’m very much aware that the moon isn’t warning us about anything.