There was a lunar eclipse last night. I didn’t see it myself – the paper had said the night would be overcast so I didn’t go out to look. But the next day I read in the paper that the clouds had opened just in time. The great event had been there for anyone with eyes to see – anyone, that is, who had not let the paper tell them to forget it, stay inside, don’t even bother. The paper printed a picture of the moon in eclipse: as the great shadow approached, it “turned a fire red.”[i]
Apparently the moon itself could catch on fire and some of us wouldn’t notice.
So tonight, on my last night of retreat, I took the dog for a walk. No eclipse tonight – just the deathly lunar brightness of a full moon. We walked to a point overlooking a valley; the fog had rolled in beneath our feet, and covered the earth with a glowing blanket. The dog lapped at water from a broken font. I meditated on a tree, black in silhouette. Then I turned to the sky, and breathed, and said a prayer: “Speak to me.”
This is what I heard:
“No, you listen.”
[i] “Well, the night I was born
Lord I swear the moon turned a fire red”
Jimi Hendrix, “Voodoo