As you get older you might want to follow the lunar calendar instead of the one that Hallmark or the IRS sends you each year around Christmas. For one thing, you get to divide the year up into about 13 pieces instead of 12. This finer grained resolution makes time seemed to pass slower and we get a chance to remember significant encounters and events with greater satisfaction. Thirteen moons provides more context, to use a modern term. More context helps you seperate the quiet, slow places inside of you from the rush of trying to invent sense out of things that may have no sense in them. Sit out under the stars longer. Listen to waves breaking on beaches and then forget about the sound.
When I sit out in the moonlight, I don’t hear those whispering voices urging me to do this or follow up on that. I have time to listen to the crickets rather than the ghosts of my parents advising me on a practical career. When the wind stirs the leaves in the old Ash tree above my head I have time to think about sailing alongside dolphins rather than filling out insurance or tax forms. When the smell of dry leaves means that Fall will soon be in the air, I am reminded of all the promises I made myself and how few I have kept. How strange to think that we keep our promises to others but we regularly violate those we make to ourselves.
And those whispering voices. Things promised but not done. I want to scream at my father and tell him that I never promised I would be a good tennis player. It was his voice speaking for me. I never did play tennis, and one more failure has been tallied against me. Nor did I do many things that he promised I would do. Somewhere, in all of that, I got lost.
It used to be that people looked up at the night skies and imagined the shapes of things in the sky by looking at the dark spaces between the stars. Now, we live by connecting dots. We live on those lines that we draw between the brightspots. Those dots and lines are paths that others chose for us. Settle back in your chair and contemplate the dark regions. In other words, fill in the voids. It’s where we live.