Sunday, February 2, 2014


I went to a meeting of the Opera House Stage Company today where I got to see some people I love, whom I have shared some very, very good times with over the years. Not just being in plays together but marriages and births and deaths and illnesses and every sort of human experience. We talked about plays and scheduling for the 2014-2015 season and there was nothing earth-shaking going on. Just eight people around a table discussing murder mysteries and comedies, melodramas and Neil Simon.
When we were just about to finish it up, I said, "I'm having a pretty good time here. Can't we talk about some more stuff?"
They thought I was joking but really, I would have happily sat there in the parish hall of an Episcopal Church throughout the entire afternoon, discussing anything. Anything at all, even though I felt as if I wasn't saying much, certainly not contributing anything of value. Not my old cracking-jokes self, but I felt so content to sit there and listen to them, to add a word here or there. It was just good.

One of the ladies invited me to stop by her house on my way home and I did. How odd! Not only to be invited, but to accept. She lives by herself in a house which she calls small but it seemed the perfect size to me for one person. Well, one person, three cats, three dogs. She showed me her house and told me about the pictures on her walls and showed me the quilt she'd made and we sat and chatted for awhile. She talked about her husband and her life with him before he died and how it's been nine and a half years and how she feels like she's finally coming back to life. I had noticed how beautiful her face looked, how good her skin looked, and she told me that she's taken to wearing make-up and it makes her feel differently about herself and... damn. I'm going to go buy some of what she uses. We talked about kids and about grandkids and about mothers. It was fine and it was pleasant and I'm so glad she invited me and that I accepted.

It's so hard for me to get out and do simple things like this. Sometimes even talking on the phone to someone I really, really care about makes me so nervous I feel like I'm going to have a stroke. I get buzzy and my heart beats too fast and I feel like everything I say is stupid and then I think about how that's stupid and so when I feel comfortable with a group of people or with one person, it is unusual. But good.

I came home and found Mr. Moon working away on the kids' fort and play yard thing. When I left, he had been working on the old Toyota we keep on Dog Island and which has suffered enough problems lately to have to be barged back to land and hauled here. So he'd been working all day and I asked him if he'd eaten anything and of course he hadn't. I had made him a good breakfast but that had been hours before and so I sighed and came in the house and made him a chicken sandwich with tomatoes and cheese and filled up his water glass and took them out to him. I also took a wet paper towel so he could wipe his hands off before he ate. He gets into his projects so fiercely that he just doesn't take care of himself. I tell you what though- I am so glad to be the one who takes care of him. He takes care of me too in so many ways. It works out.

So Philip Seymour Hoffman has died. Oh god. I think of Neil Young's song, The Needle and the Damage Done. I think of all of the geniuses, the artists, the musicians that the needle has claimed. Or the pills or the bottle. I think of the waste. I think of those who somehow managed to kick it all for good and the ones like Mr. Hoffman who kicked and then fell back.
I cannot and will not judge.
I can only say that this news is sorrowful. I can only say that I feel great pain for his children and their mother. For his parents, if they are living. For all of us, but mostly for those whose lives were entwined with his, who loved him as only those close to a person can love.

Here is the moon which is rising over the pecans. As we remember from The Lacuna, she is waxing because (if you look at her properly), she is making a "D" for Dios who grows, not a "C" for Christo who dies. She is rising in the west and I think of how the moon looks from Cozumel when it rises above Tulum and makes a path of silver over the water which I always feel as if I could simply walk across to find myself climbing onto the beach beneath those Mayan ruins. We are thinking of planning our trip back there in May and I have just checked the calendar and the moon is full on May 14th and so that is a starting point for planning. I am not sure I have ever been in Cozumel during the full moon in all of our travels there since 1987 and it's about time, don't you think?

The frogs are slicing my eardrums with their shrillness as I sit here on the back porch on this warm February night in Florida and here comes the train which quiets the frogs for a moment, at least. My husband is watching the Super Bowl and eating the nachos which I have made him. I am going to heat up some pinto beans and greens for my own supper. I am wishing that I was the sort of writer who could incorporate the sorrows of humanity with the joys of life on this planet, the simplest sort of joys like the smell of warm corn tortillas with onions and tomatoes, the sound of frogs chorusing in a tiny weed-covered pond, of the comforting happiness of sitting with seven other people around a table. Of the silver, uncaring moon rising above the horizon in the night sky. 

Of the bed waiting for another night of rest before another day of these joys and sorrows begin again. 

One of my children calls. I talk to her and I visualize my heart, its walls thick red and beating with life, filled with love. As we talk, I fold clothes from the dryer, I put warm towels on the rack. I am glad to be here. That is no lie and we'll talk again tomorrow.


  1. A guy from my hometown plays for the Bronco's and I'm watching him sometimes run in and do his little part and run back out. I used to "babysit" his wife when I was about 13 and she was about 9. And now here she is, grown up and married to the only NFL player from my little bitty hometown.

    During halftime, I made enchiladas. Chicken and black beans and sauteed spinach and a little sauce wrapped in low-carb tortillas and topped with sauce and cheese. And I smile everytime I make such a simple dish because I think of me, about six years ago, living in my little apartment asking Mary Moon to help me learn how to cook and send me her enchilada recipe.

    And on we grow :)

  2. Ah so, the Super Bowl is today.
    I feel the same way Mary about talking with friends on the phone or accepting invitations and yet it feels good when I do. But oh it is so hard and so much easier just to sit here on my computer.

  3. You are that kind of writer. I know so fully what you describe here. I said yes to my friends invitation today too and we had the most life giving time. I am glad you had this good, good day. xo

  4. I am glad you had such a good day and that your plans for Cozumel are coming together. I rarely want to go anywhere. I make plans or accept them when I am asked, then the time comes and I think of ways to get out of going, but most often i go and once I'm there, I am usually glad I went. No clue why I am like that. It is crazy. I suppose the more we do it, the more we'll do it. I hope tomorrow is as good or better than today. Sweet jo

  5. What a beautiful post -- and I learned something, too (about the moon!). Thank you, Ms. Moon and good night!

  6. You wish you were that sort of writer?! You ARE that sort of writer. As always I love your descriptions of your home and your life interwoven with the news of the day.

    I was shocked by the news about Philip Seymour Hoffman, as I suppose everyone was -- I haven't read the backstory yet, though. I need to get out there and see what the news is saying now.

  7. Like everyone else, I think you are that kind of writer.
    I'm sorry the anxiety had creeped back in.
    Poor Phillip Seymore Hoffman's family.
    Life is so hard.

  8. SJ- Well, sounds like your enchiladas are delicious and if I had anything to do with that, I am glad.

    Rubye Jack- When I walked into the church hall, my friend Jack said, "The only time we get to see Mary is when we schedule a meeting." I could not deny that. I was glad they had scheduled a meeting.

    Angella- Why is it so hard to say yes when it almost always turns out to be so good?

    Sweet Jo- I just wonder, constantly, why I am so afraid. WHAT am I so afraid of? I do not want to end up like Miss Havisham. I do not.

    Elizabeth- Funny how until I read that in The Lacuna, I had no idea how to tell whether the moon was waxing or waning. Such a simple thing.

    Steve Reed- Thank you. And it is so sad about Philip Seymour Hoffman.

    heartinhand- It IS so hard, life. Yet what options do we have? Oh, there are a few but they do not always turn out well.

  9. Yes, you are that writer.
    I watched about two minutes of the superbowl while I was bringing sandwiches to my Mr., too and decided PBS was much more interesting - Downton Abbey and Sherlock were a much better use of my time last night.

    I love how you multitask too, chatting on the phone with someone you love and folding the laundry.

    I'm so glad you had a nice social outing with an extra visit at the end, and I know exactly what you mean about the voice inside your head judging the things you say, trying to make you feel stupid, which is so distracting it can make you actually appear slightly stupid. I swear if you ever do that DNA test, we're going to learn we are cousins somewhere back down the line.


  10. Mel- I get half my housework done while on the phone. Since I get about five calls a week, this says a great deal about the amount of housework I actually do.
    Yes. We are related. No freaking doubt.
    Thank you. So much. You know why.

  11. The peepers are out here too. Way too early IMO. I am hoping for the last of winter but know there will be more.


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