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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Moon-touched, sun-struck

Last night the moon was full and rose across the bay, almost directly out of the east. It came up huge and orange over the southern tip of Sheep Island, whose firs seemed to pierce it for a few minutes. Then it left the land, and I watched it rise for the next half-hour, arranging myself on the couch just so the moon was framed by two pointed firs on this shore, and just so the three red blinking unnatural lights of the turbines on Vinalhaven were blocked by the branches. There's no craziness about a moonrise - just contentment.

The sun this morning came up in approximately the same place, just a few degrees to the south over Vinalhaven. Now the orange color was striated, not round, streaky in the clouds and fading quickly into blue and white. Then the sun flared up, and for the briefest of moments I could look at it, before it struck the eyes like a laser burning flesh. There's a kind of fury about a sunrise.

We can do without the moon, of course. Where the earth's skin is liquid, the moon wrinkles it. On soft summer evenings it inspires poetry, perhaps love. What else?

For me, its shy appearance in the night sky makes me grateful, just like the sight of the stars in a clear country sky does. Daytime, sun glare, strivings, turbines, energy, these are things I navigate to the best of my ability and then rest against their return. I wake up in the night and see tree, wave, rock, star in the pale light, and can touch but the ghostly alter egos of ambition and trouble.

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