chasing the moon…

I’m staying in my childhood home in Burke, South Dakota. Today I got up very early to write. I made coffee and stepped out on the porch for some fresh air. I was dumbstruck by the beauty of the sunrise and the moonset in unison over the east-facing field.

Left: today’s sunrise/moonset Right: last night’s sunset.

The moon was so seductive to me that I actually felt a little “witchy”. I hopped in my rental and headed east on gravel roads to get closer to the moon. Deer. Stars. A light wind. Birds chirping. Lovely.

NOTE: Speaking of “witchy”, I was born with an extra finger on my left hand (as was my daughter, Lucy). I’ve been told that it’s the sign of a witch, although from what I’ve read, it was mostly the patriarchy and the churches afraid of women who used herbs and other methods of healing. Oh, men, always so threatened by powerful women.

Once thought to be a sign of witchcraft, extra digits are actually the most common developmental abnormality found at birth. About two children in a thousand have extra fingers or toes.

Marilyn Monroe didn’t have extra digits, urban legends notwithstanding, but Anne Boleyn and Winston Churchill both did. And Atlanta Braves pitcher Antonio “The Octopus” Alfonseca was born with six fingers and six toes.

https://www.futilitycloset.com/2005/02/10/a-great-big-hand/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witches%27_mark

I don’t have a telephoto lens or the patience for long exposure images, but I was able to capture these images. A perfect October experience in South Dakota…chasing a waning crescent moon.

My mother always told me that I looked a lot like Winston Churchill as a baby. Now, I know why—Lucy and I share a rather unique trait with him.

https://www.calendar-12.com/moon_calendar/2019/october

When I work up this morning…

the first thing I thought of was one of my favorite books.  “Ahab’s Wife, or The Star Gazer” by Sena Jeter Naslund.  The heroine of the story is Una Spenser.  She lived a life on her own terms and is a remarkably compelling character.  I haven’t read the book for years, but Una woke me up today.  I guess it’s time to reread…perhaps to my daughters over Christmas break.  I’ve been moving too fast—so it’s a good thing this message didn’t escape me.  If you’ve tried to read Moby Dick and couldn’t stick with it OR if you’re a big fan of Moby Dick then you will love Ahab’s Wife.  So many minds I respect have loved this book.

ahabs wife quote lillibridge

ahabs wife book jacket