April is almost over and its pink moon gone. The Indians called the moon pink after the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox. There was supposedly a pink moon on the 15th of this month. I didn’t see it only because my family and I were in the middle of moving into our new home in the middle of the woods.
I love our new place. Love it! It’s the currant in the bun. It’s the perfect place for us; fits us like a glove. To be finally in a place that is spacious and almost built to our sensibilities is like grapes between the toes of the wine maker. And as an added bonus, we are looking after 29 hens and a rooster, who continues to crow our good fortune. And there are eggs in every nook and cranny.
One of my all-time favourite short stories is “The Distance of the Moon” by Calvino. The magnetic pull of the moon. The major transitions in life. The attraction to what is new. The repulsion for what is hackneyed, worn out, spent.
It’s time to let the happiness in.
Change is easy when you’ve been living off the dust of nostalgia and boredom. But transitions can be tricky cause there are metaphors collecting in the unconscious. For all the tumultuous anguish and joy of change, a person must find his or her own metaphors to make sense of it all. The public metaphor has no place for things undergone by the self.
And so a new chapter has begun in a new house.
Kingsley Amis once wrote. “Whisky is my favourite tipple, though I recommend never giving it to a Welshman as it’s wasted on someone with an IQ of less than 80.”
If Amis wasn’t dead, I’d write to him pretending to be the whiskey bottle he’d abused and I’d complain about his loose lips slapping on my imperfect rim, his grubby nicotine-stained fingers squeezing my glass sides, his pudgy, sweaty face secreting all over my label. And I’d threaten to tell all about the night he drank me dry, guzzled me down to nothing more than a stale odor, and how he locked the door to his study, covered his typewriter, shoved the full ashtray aside, and kissed his copy of Lucky Jim.
“I do not judge myself or others. That is far too common for a tired aesthete.” Cyril Solipsist
Artifice is all we have. Take life at its face value? Boorish. You do that and all you have is the mundane, spending and getting, fucking and dying. Artifice is what’s given us art. It’s what’s given us life. Without it, we’d still be gnawing bones, afraid of what we don’t know, hoarding fruit and nuts, shagging in dead furs, and waiting for the pantheon of gods to wipe us out.
Time for some Nick Drake.