Staring at screens and working with purpose on purpose has become a restriction of the mind layered on top of the restriction of movement. For all the good intentions that I have I need more beyond me, something that is positive and natural and dependable and there it is every month, the moon.
It causes me to be present and grateful to have a regular visitor who dazzles me shining in the night and moving about unincumbered by any restriction. It peeks over the rooftops soon after dark tracking across the sky in the wake of the sun. The glow is so bright some months that light from the supporting cast of twinkling stars seems dull by comparison; the moon is the star of the show.
My full moon ritual has evolved with my confinement and is something that I have come to look forward to. It consists of looking out of my kitchen window from dusk to midnight hoping to glimpse the moon as it tracks across the sky. Beyond midnight the full moon rises into the midheavens and out of the small portion of sky framed by my window, it’s a spectacle I’ve come to enjoy every month.
It was a full moon recently marking another month gone by and the last hint of cold from winter. The sun hid behind clouds that had cushioned the sky throughout the day and remained in place into the night. When the moon rose I was excluded from the show by the cloud cover still in place. A hidden moon was apt though for a scorpio full moon buried deep in the night beneath layers which concealed it’s mysteries from the world. The next day the chill had left the air replaced by a summer-like day heralding spring with the promise of a hot summer beyond.
Spring in Melbourne is all about fashion.
In fashion this spring there’s no horse race fascinators or stripes or eskies in the carpark, there’s not even an alternative “I’m not into that no matter how Melbourne it is” event. This spring the new Melbourne fashion is wearing masks as chin straps. Both men and women have embraced the trend walking in the sunshine with chins and jaws adorned in a variety of colours and patterns. From a distance the trend appears to be a beard trimmed short and coloured curiously so as to not always match the colour on the persons’ head. Even stranger from afar is the bearded ladies who make more sense as they come into view where the fact that they’re wearing a chin mask can be plainly seen.
The easy adaptability of everyone on the street is an ode to how conscious people are of their pocket in these uncertain times when work has disappeared for most, and the police patrol revenue raising for the sake of our health. An unhealthy bank account is the most contagious condition of people I know as they struggle through complying not to make trouble or be noticed or be targeted for fines they can’t afford to pay.
Along with spring, life has returned to the streets as people come out of their homes tentatively stepping forth into the world again. There are people on the footpaths and cars on the roads; at first glance things appear to be normal. People come and go making their way through the day seeking out routine that is familiar or dependable or profitable in leading them back to the point their lives were at before the city stopped. I sit and watch from my perch behind the tree which stands on the footpath, tucked away with a view of the street that allows for leisurely observation, and I think back over the past year and reflect, and I can see no normalities that I recognise.
It was never normal to see people driving past alone in their cars wearing a mask with the windows rolled up. Never was it normal to see hand sanitiser at the entry to a shop, or have a stranger stare angrily at another just because they could see their face, or have grown adults ask one another earnestly in conversation “do you know how far we are allowed go from home?”
With freedoms removed and the confinement of the self, many became used to their own company, own time, own space, and the world opening up again all of a sudden seems too big or too much. Secluded from autonomy the world shrank to multiple microcosms no longer independent but interdependent removing the idea of self from the individual to apply it to the collective. We are now the self, to recognise the self as anything other is selfish, the hive mind has been activated with the majority buzzing synchronously with complicity.
Spring brings a new season, new life to the world, it begins a new cycle, it brings return and coaxes all into the sunshine after the dark of winter. A new season has arrived, a new day has dawned and although this is not the writing on any wall it is the writing on a fence near where I live.