Learning from the Moon

The moon traverses through its phases slowly, starting from zero, building and receding back home.  Our lives often mimic this pattern, especially when we set intentions at the new moon.  Always a full moon will be opposite from where it started and comes back in new terrain. The fullness of our own energy mimics the fullness of the moon. And yet, when we approach stories and storytelling, the fullest part of the story is at three quarter point—that’s where all the action and momentum is, and also the achievement of the character’s goal.

It’s easy to think of the full moon as the point where if we’re not achieving something, it’s not going to happen, but it is the point where the momentum just gets going.  In most movies, and stories, all of the set up is done in the first half of the story so that the second half can fly.  The half way point is not the point where you turn around and head back home.  It is the set up to the climax of our moon cycle journeys, using the energy of the halfway point to propel us through the easy parts, and the intention to give us the courage to carry on.  This is where we pull through with the last reserves of energy we have left.  The midpoint puts the end goal in sight even if, in the cycle of our lives, we’re not ready to get there.

Ever since the burnbright of the solstice, I’ve been low on energy to compensate for the fact that I felt like a live wire for days.  But this is where the climax of this story begins—where I need the most energy.  Even when I feel like I’ve been dragged through the mud and sunburned. 

Perseverance kicks in when we’re all running on empty even though it feels like the part where we need to be full of our energy most.  This is the make or break moment for most characters—when we’ve burned out, own own ideas make us want to puke, we don’t think we can go on, and yet somehow we do.  That’s the magic of the mundane.

We don’t have to be at the fullest part of our journeys at the full moon, and we also aren’t obligated (although it might be more enjoyable) to sail through the waning moon.  We do not have to have our whole narrative figured out by the half-way point.  We can be our own main characters.  The three quarter moon could be the fastest, most free part.  Where we get to see our own setups, fly through them, and learn what we could do better for the next moon cycle.  It can also be the worst part, where we’re being kicked through the dirt and being asked to survive anyway.

And if you’re barely hanging on this moon cycle (or the next), it’s ok to just take care of yourself.  That’s a kind of victory too.  Not all main characters finish their journeys in a single story.

[[Image from: http://earthsky.org/moon-phases/waxing-crescent]]

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