Light in Darkness

Super Moon

We live by the light of the moon.

We drive in the morning while the sun is not yet up.

The lights on the inside of our car glow a beautiful purple.

We can change the color to green or yellow or blue or red, but we always bring it back to purple because purple is where the heart is. Soft purple light makes the music that is playing in the dark mean so much more.

We put wallpapers on our back-lit screen of night scenes as the sun rises and reflects off the buildings outside the windows of the downtown building that we work in. The windows are everywhere and we can’t escape the day that drives out the night. It gives us life and we know it and we are filled with gratitude for the sun and the work and the reflection.

But we like night scenes on our computers… or almost night, like sunset or sunrise. Or day that looks like night, like when a storm is coming, or like the view of a forest path where the trees are so thick that light can only get through in single lines of sparkling gold.

Or a solitary streetlight glowing softly on abandoned winter city streets.

That’s where our heart is.

When we come home, as the light fades, you turn on twinkle lights on the back patio and you sit in the quiet and you read as the cool air fills your lungs and the glass is tipped which fills your heart with cheer.

You apologize for the smoke and you try to move upwind, but I don’t mind. I let it seep into my skin and it’s more than okay because the moon is out behind the clouds and I want it all. The smoke, the moon, the cool breeze, the clouds…


We go in and the dinner dishes are everywhere. You tell her that if she plays piano, while you do the dishes, then you’ll do the dishes.

I go for a walk by the light of the moon, with ear buds in my ears, and breath in my mouth that illuminates the night. My feet strike the concrete, around and around the cul-de-sac. Under the streetlight, away from the streetlight, all is lit up with a velvety, pale whitishness and then all is a deep midnight blue again.

As I walk back up to the house, I see all the warm colors of home through the open screen door and through the sheer, colored curtains on the living room windows. I open the door to hear her playing music that tells us she doesn’t want to waste our time with music we don’t need. Why should she autograph a book that we won’t even read? She’s got a different scar for every song and blood left still to bleed.

I see you through the open space of the home we’ve built together. You still have on your black pants, black shirt, black socks and white collar as you wipe down the counter of the kitchen that has been cleaned with love to music played with heart and I am reminded once again that this life is a prayer. All of it.

And the music continues. I won’t pray this prayer with you unless we both kneel down.

The kitchen is clean, the music is over, the lights in the house are turned off, one by one, and the quiet that we so desperately long for flows into every corner of the rooms in our house and in our minds as consciousness gives way to dreams once again.

Another day is over.

Another day lived by the light of the moon begins.

But I Am

When I was young, I would sing songs to my friends about being young and listening to the radio. When I was young, I dreamed and I planned and I created. When I was young people told me all the things I should be. A writer, they said. A singer. A scientist. Be a strong woman. Don’t let the men get all the good jobs. You’re good at math. Go to college and do mathy/computery things with the big boys. It’s a woman’s world now; the women who came before you sacrificed greatly to open these doors for you. Don’t let it go to waste. Women can be fighter pilots now. Join the air force and bullet the blue sky just like the men do.

When I was young I met a boy that I knew I wanted to spend my life with. Don’t do it, they said. You’re too young. You have so much to offer. You’ll regret it someday.

When they get to the part where he’s breaking her heart, it can really make me cry.

I’m pretty sure my high school counselor is still mad at me. He worked hard to get me that presidential scholarship. I had a free ride to a place where other people’s parents paid bootie-loads of money for super-smart people to shove crap down their kids’ throats.

I lasted one semester and two weeks. I cried every day. I didn’t like the taste of crap.

People still think they know all the things I should do and they still try to tell me and I still don’t want to do any of it. Or if I did before, I don’t once they tell me I should. But I still dream. I still plan. And I still DO. My whole life, I have done things. REALLY done things. Someone put this thing inside of me that pushes me to excel and I rarely settle for less than the realization of my dream exactly how I imagined it. Other people look at that drive and they say “You should DO something with that!” and I always think, “……but I am……doing something…..”

It’s a quiet drive that I have. Like a luxury vehicle.

Is contentment with a small world a waste of a life? I think of the parable of the talents and sometimes I just don’t know. But I have had dreams and I do have dreams and I will have more dreams. They always consume me and I work at fulfilling them and when they are fulfilled, I am content for the moment. They mostly don’t involve performing on stages, winning grand prizes, dancing with royalty, or breaking world records. They are mostly private and I don’t talk much about them. One of them was to be a mother at a time when so many others were telling me I could accomplish so much more. I have watched a mountain grow in my belly (three times) and I have groaned and writhed with the agony of the curse and I have known the joy of a mother’s love when that wriggling, squawking, angry little thing has been placed at my breast and known contentment. What a blessing. What an immeasurable blessing.

I have nurtured (and wriggled) and guided (and squawked) and loved (and hen-pecked) those three young things to the places they are now, with the tender, loving help of their father. I don’t think I’ve wasted much. But then again, I don’t think anyone else would say I’ve wasted much either. But I don’t like to talk about it.

All my best memories come back clearly to me….some can even make me cry.


On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

John Milton