Secret Circles

I learned recently that the moon wobbles. Observing a simulation of that rocking motion – libration, it’s called – via a NASA app on my iPad is a cheap thrill indeed. Connecting this mottled image in my hand with the glorious, full orb in the sky tonight is a stretch . . . .and yet.

I can’t say whether the moon in my hand is in collusion with the moon in the sky, but I can say I feel wired, jittery. Wobbly. The sense of time passing grounds me.  The possibility that so  much still lies ahead lifts me.  I loved coming of age in the Sixties, for all the personal and political strife it presented. I am now in my sixties, the full moon coinciding (give or take a day) with my birthday this year. Next year, astrologically speaking, may be a big one: 12/12/12.

You Reading This, Be Ready . . .  A poem by William Stafford  would be welcome any day of the year,  but I take the timing of this one’s appearance personally, a gift as mysterious as the moon itself, with its reminder of waxing and waning and, yes, wobbling.

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

My understanding of the phenomenon dubbed moon wobble is that the face I see in the sky tonight is ever-so-slightly different from what I saw yesterday or what I’ll see tomorrow.  Of course, this is not visible to the naked eye. What ever is?

A few weeks ago I sat across a table in a light-filled NYC restaurant, looking into the face of my longest, dearest friend. BFF, yes, even before (and without) the short-hand.  Sure, we both look (a little) older, but the smile I always recall when I think of her, the one that taps at a heart as golden as it gets (and gives), has not changed.  We talked as if we had seen each yesterday, not  years ago, when she relinquished to me that cherished volume,  ‘The Sherondas.’  Inside the pages, a little fragile now, is a weekly record of our club meetings. We collected dues. We argued. We planned parties.  We watched “American Bandstand.” We cried about boys. We were preteens caught up in the music of those great girl groups. It’s hardly a stretch to hear echoes of the Shirelles in the circle we became, the letters of each of our names strung together to form the Sherondas circa 1961.  My stint as recording secretary would never lead me to believe I had the stuff real writers are made of : “We were eating and eating till we decided we needed some good, rude arguments.” Then again, it wasn’t my job to comment, just record, though each of us, in turn, did manage to bring a little of her own flavor to the minutes, my BFF the most spirited of all.  We let the memories roll as we sipped our drinks and nibbled on food.  I handed her the treasured record of a very innocent time. She wants to share it with her daughter, recently married. She plans to make two laminated copies, one for each of us. The information it would retain, for someone’s future curiosity, is less important than the fact of its existence.

My daughter, it so happens, works on a TV show about a group of teen witches, “The Secret Circle.” Innocence may not be what it once was, and, yes, birthdays have a way of making me feel “captive on that carousel of time.” And, whether or not Marlo Morgan’s account of her walkabout in Australia, Mutant Message Down Under, was a hoax, one lasting impression it made on me was the suggestion that the nomadic Aboriginals she wrote about do not celebrate getting older each year. “We celebrate if we are a better, wiser person this year than last.”



15 thoughts on “Secret Circles

  1. Debooooorah … that was a fabulous, poignant essay! Very heartfelt, very reassuring, beautifully written. Have a wonderful birthday … and savor that gorgeous, wobbly moon.

  2. Deborah, your essay today was as cool and crisp as the air. Balm for the soul, remembering as we go through these phases of the moon, we are not alone. And thank you for the poem and link to aborigines. Made my day a little deeper, a little more poignantly felt.

    barbara graustark

    • sorry, it is not 8:14 pm but 3:14 pm when I wrote this! Are we on moon time?????
      And “Happy, happy birthday, baby!”

  3. What a wonderful piece about the moon and friendships – and not in that order.
    “We were eating and eating till we decided we needed some good, rude arguments” makess me think of my little tribe from long ago. elizabeth

  4. Oh, it’s your birthday? Birthday blessings and happy wishes dear Deborah!
    I enjoyed this most engaging piece: your words and memories and those of William Stafford, too.
    Don’t know about you… but I’ll admit that I sometimes do wait for time to show me some better thoughts. But I see that you aren’t one to wait for long. You gathered the moon in your hands and shared it with us!

  5. Nice post. I had a crush on a much older guy from my school way back when, who was a dancer on Bandstand. Sounds as if your daughter is working on a very fun show-writing scenes about a witch circle–how cool is that?!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *