Not Pie in the Sky
by Tina Rosa
|January 29, 2000
Insomnia wakes me at 3:30. Yesterday I noticed the oil pressure gauge was low. Was it even functioning? Does the needle just lie at 20? Has the gauge become disconnected? Sadhu told me it may indicate the oil pump is gone.
"Don't drive it until I can look at it," he warns.
I don't have a mechanical bone in my body, but I have been trying hard to pay attention since our in-house mechanic went off to car heaven, where nothing ever breaks down that can't be fixed with a fluffing of angel wings. I feel vulnerable before the Mysteries of How Things Work (or Don't.) It's tension that woke me.
After two hours of meditating, I crawl out of the camper to go make coffee. Looking to the sky in the west behind the lagoon I am startled by the big orange ball of the setting moon, almost full, hanging in the indigo inky dark. It looks like the sun setting in a blackened sky, amazing. I'm almost glad for the insomnia that got me up to see this sight.
The day is kind of weird, as wasted as I am. All the coffee doesn't jump-start me, just leaves me nervous and shaky, with the old familiar "hole in my aura" feeling that used to come with the morning hang-over. When I pay attention to the mind tape I'm running, it drones on for awhile with self-trashing. The "shoulduv's." I shoulduv noticed the oil gauge sooner, blah blah.
When Sadhu comes over to check it out, it's working normally. Isn't that always the way? When the mechanic's around, the car performs fine! He tells me to just keep an eye on it.
As the day progresses I notice that the slurry of my mind has passed on from telling myself I'm stupid because I didn't notice the oil gauge sooner to wondering where I ever got the idea I was supposed to be perfect? Do everything right? All the time?
If Steve were here he'd say, as he often did, "Tina, you're too hard on yourself."
And maybe he is. Because I'm remembering his words and telling them to myself! I say a word of thanks to Steve for saying this to me often enough that I can remember it now. A friend told me once that maybe Steve could die and move on, in part, because he knew I was ready to internalize some of what he gave me. When we embody the qualities of someone who passes, we give them that much of immortality.
The following night I am lying on the beach on my back on a grass mat with my shoes pillowing my head. I watch the black edge seeping onto the moon's curved bottom. It is happening so slowly I could be imagining it, I think. But when I look away for awhile, watching the white flash of waves curling over, exchanging remarks with Sara and Pico, sitting next to me in chairs, and then look back again, yes, it's distinct, that shadow of the earth eating the moon, like a giant wafer pasted to the sky.
"This is going to take awhile, " I say.
We decide to walk down and visit Patty and Jerry, also seated on the ubiquitous white plastic chairs endemic to the beach. Jerry's suited up in gray hooded sweatshirt like he's ready for a moon walk, and he almost gets us there with his powerful binoculars. Wham! I put them to my face and travel light years to the moon's cratered face. Patty feeds us delicately flavored wafers frosted with chocolate, a special treat, as we stand staring upward.
"The stars are really starting to come up," remarks Sara. With the slow darkening of the sky, the stars begin to shine again for us.
"I think I'll make some popcorn," she says.
We're all in favor of that.
"I'll help," says Pico.
I move back to my mat to collapse prone on the earth's surface, moving my gaze between the moon half-devoured, the stars and the waves.
Sara and Pico return with great bowls of popcorn deliciously seasoned with soy sauce, nutritional yeast and lime and bring some more metates to lie on. Patty and Jerry move their chairs over to join us.
We try to imagine how such a sight would effect primitive man. By now the entire moon's disk is shadowed, transformed into an orb glowing reddish orange,. Wouldn't this phenomenon be frightening to the cave man?
"But do you think they came out at night?" questions Patty. "Wouldn't they be too busy resting up for all the work they had to do just to survive?"
"Or wouldn't they stay inside hiding from the animals?" I speculate, thinking of primitive humans, prey to night time stalkers.
"Just think what it would be like if you just happened to walk outside and see this," says sara.
I think of my friends Tom and Madeline in a condo somewhere on the coast, a glass walled modern cave high up on the building's cliff. What if they haven't read about it, looked out of their glassed terrace walls with no warning to see this strange glowing bloody sphere. It really looks like something out of science fiction. It could look like the end of a world, if you had no "News" to tell you what was happening.
"It's so cosmic," says Pico.
"Yes, the moon and the heavens are kind of cosmic," I agree, and we all laugh.
....Continued with Raison d'être