Full Moon Farewell

From the very beginning there was a magnet in me that found it’s match in you.  First encounters aren’t always like that. Sometimes people repel you right away, and sometimes there is no force at all, just a neutral co-existence that waits for a decision to either lean in or drift away.  With you, there was no free will that way.  Maybe it was less of a magnetic pull and more of a gravitation.  You being a larger, denser mass and me a delicate moon drawn tightly into your orbit.  Any time I tried to back away I was simply swimming against a current, a current that always managed to put me back in my seat on the same singular, circling track.  In my head I fought feebly against my fate but my heart always breathed relief when I was put back where I belonged. 

In our time together I have used the high vantage point of my orbit to watch over you and scan constantly for ways I may be of service.  I’ve observed closely and compassionately all of the habits and patterns of your landscape. I have lovingly observed your joy and enthusiasm and become an expert predictor of your wants and needs, filling all of them happily and reflexively.  I am the happiest when my hands are comforting your face or massaging an ache or wrapped around you in protection.  I only wish they could reach deeper and calm your heart when it is stricken with fear or your head when it is drowning in uncertainty. My instincts are always to help you, to rush to your side, to give to you endlessly and without the mathematics of keeping score, to see things from your perspective and to work tirelessly to earn your trust.  I have been filled and fueled with the hope that my dedication will one day earn me the blinding beauty of your vulnerability, the breathlessness of your surrender.  I know without knowing that it would be the most stunning achievement of my life to exist in the wash of your love, that it would feel like a constant stream of something so vital, I would not need anything else to hold me up, that it would be enough strength to carry me through the rest of my life beaming with an aliveness that my humanity is not yet aware exists. I want so badly to meet that version of myself through that version of you. 

There is a depletion that has sunken my cheeks over the course of this romance.  Before I was pulled into your outer rings I was a planet too.  I had mountains with stormy peeks and canyons cut by persistent rivers.  I had deserts blowing with dissatisfied dust and forests dripping with the richness of passion and potential.  I had uncharted waters and mysteries buried under rock, waiting to be chiseled into and deciphered. Your atmosphere is quiet and chilled most of the time, and the view is often crystalline and razor sharp with beauty as I hover over it, watching you breathe and morph and settle from afar. I am alone at my post, sometimes seeing just the dimmed blinking of another satellite from miles away, another watcher scanning the surface and sending intermittent messages of encouragement.  I know that no other body soars as close to you as I, my attention and thoughtfulness and commitment is unmatched and unprecedented, which gives me a surge of pride.  But I am lonely up here.  My resources diminish day by day, the heat at my core cooling just a fraction of a degree in slow increments.  My tributaries gush a little slower, the sharp edges of my cliffs dull into softer things and my over all density feels like it is evaporating, hollowing out little by little, making me insubstantial somehow.  

 When the storms come I am battered like a tiny ship in an angry sea.  Sometimes I can hold on tight enough to emerge only dripping and fatigued, but sometimes I lose my grip and I am tossed relentlessly through the darkened clouds with no shield of protection, freezing rain and hail stinging my face and bruising my skin.  Sometimes I am spit out so powerfully that I soar into space, swallowed by a sudden black silence and chilled to the core.  There is a terrifying finality when I come to a slow stop in the dark and a long moment of nauseating empty loss before I am pulled in gravity’s slow sling shot back the way I came, back into the bruising churn of your punishing weather, back for more of what sometimes feels like hatred.

When the fever of your nature breaks there is always a disarming beauty in those first rays of sun. There is the sobbing relief when my voice is heard and heeded rather than ringing tinnily like a dinner bell in a hurricane, swallowed by the roar.  I bask in the warmth of your apologies, in the sincerity of your tortured confusion, and nestle like a blind newborn into the defenseless swaddle of your body.  But like all things that swing your mood finds it’s equilibrium and I find myself back in the sky,  no further than before the madness and no closer than ever but somehow full of need.  Now rather than your mass pulling me in as I toy with leaning back, I feel that there is an excruciating distance between the surface of me and the surface of you.  My arms are now aching from constantly reaching down, hoping to graze something, anything that I can use as a handle to draw myself in closer.  This is my existence now.  Soaring like a frightened child on a theme park ride, eyes wide with hunger and warily scanning the horizon line for gathering storm clouds. Reaching, always reaching out to be thrown a rope and anchored to the ground, desperately in need of some kind of infusion, the sustenance of acceptance. 

You see, of course, why it can’t go on this way.  I have waited with a tireless hope for something to ignite in you.  I have waited for you to see me up here, suddenly struck by the earnest glowing orb in your sky, and to study me with a fascination and then a deep appreciation from the ground.  I have waited for you to make careful plans to visit the surface of me, making revolutions around and around and learning my topography and weather with the care and tenderness with which I have learned yours. I have waited for an exchange to be established, like a closed circuit circling energy around and around on an endless, pulsing loop; give, receive, give, receive, until we have both been transfused with enough to thrive and our forests both grow and burn to ash and regrow on a complementary cycle while our cloud patterns swirl together in a translucent dance that we watch together with awe and contentment.  Even as I write this that hope swells stubbornly in my center, demanding angrily and then weeping desperately not to be abandoned.  Sometimes it feels like a heavy tumor that I try with laser focus to shrink, other times it fills my lungs with a cloud of something more satisfying and potent than oxygen and keeps me alive during long pangs of despair. 

To be a moon is a lonely and thankless life.  It is to be observed dispassionately by most and admired only momentarily and from afar.  It is to be celebrated arbitrarily when full and invisible when empty.  The sadnesses and depths of a moon are experienced on the dark side that it’s planet never sees and it’s brightness is valued only for the light it casts on the midnights of the ground below.  No one ever asks the moon how it feels to dim until it disappears. No one thanks the moon for the balance of the tides.  The moon just looks down through its swells and disintegrations with an unexamined dependability, translucent as a wafer in the day and strong as a spotlight in the dark.  I am not meant to be your moon.  I am not meant to watch over you like a pretty fixture as you dream of other things.  When I do that for you it is a gift that I give willingly and without hesitation, but I must be orbited too.  I must be watched over in the dark.  I must be studied and alerted to my own beauty.  My storms must be weathered by a resolved and fearless ship.  I have always known these things, but love makes you wait, like a widow at a watch, hoping that the next roll of the sea will bring home what logic says does not exist. 

There is no one that has seen you more thoroughly than I.  There is no one who has appreciated you more deeply, or who has believed in you more fully.  That will never change.  I cannot un-see or un-know and I would never want to if I could. Our failure to find a way to stand before each other as equals and give everything collapses me with grief.  I know I am looking forward to a lifetime peppered with moments of remembering that will dissolve the bones in my legs and drop me into nearby pieces of furniture because of how fully I have loved and wanted you. Untethering myself from the promise of you is both the saddest and most necessary event of my life.  I selfishly hope that I leave a gaping void in your sky, that your nights are noticeably darker without my unassuming glow, that the beauty of your sunsets lack potency once they are not followed by the faint counter of my rise.  Like an artist made famous after death, I hope you study my contributions to you in my absence and erect monuments to me, acknowledging what I have done. Unselfishly, I hope you see a new moon rise one day.  A real moon.  A sphere of light and darkness full of contentment and gratitude for the role it has been assigned rather than throbbing with longing for something more.  I stand before you now as an equal no longer to give, but to ceremoniously part with both you and the dream of you, both of which I have tended like a treasured garden.  I love you just as much as I always have, just as much as I always will. 


  1. As the poem goes...

    there is nothing
    more painful than
    grieving for someone
    who's still living


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