Archive for August 18th, 2022

Night's Desire sm

Night’s Desire— At the West End Gallery

I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me–
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire–
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

-Edgar Lee Masters, George Gray

I hear the plans of scientists and moguls and find myself wondering why we so want to return to the moon, more than fifty years after we first stepped on its surface. It doesn’t seem to be far away enough to serve as an outpost for further exploration of space nor does it seem to be the perfect new home. It would take a lot of work to make it amenable to humans which doesn’t make a lot of sense when we have a perfectly good fixer-upper right here on Earth just waiting for some TLC.

Maybe it’s because it’s just hanging there before us there in the sky on most nights, so near yet so far away.

Maybe because it is there and not here.

Maybe it has become a constant symbol of our desires. That would make sense then, that all our desires lie there somehow in the form of the unblinking eye of the moon.

Why wouldn’t we want to reach that place?

That might make some sort of sense but then again, obtaining the thing we so want does not always bring us the fulfillment we thought it might. Unless one’s wish is to be free of desire, it often only brings a new set of desires.

A new moon to gaze upon, and with it, more restlessness and vague desires.

For me, I am content to have the moon as a mere object that reflects light on all that we have at hand here on this eternal fixer-upper, this Earth.


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