Zen & Dharma

Only seeing one side of the moon

dark moonWhen you see forms or hear sounds fully engaging body-and-mind, you intuit dharmas intimately. Unlike things and their reflections in the mirror, and unlike the moon and its reflection in the water, when one side is illuminated, the other side is dark. –Eihei Dogen, Genjo Koan

I knew there would be darkness, outside and in. Can’t say no one warned me, I said, I understood. On this long night the dark lies thick as a rug and the rain falls like stones from the sky. I don’t mind the dark, and I don’t mind the rain, blackness warm as a sweater, rain caressing my spine.

But the blackness within, well—I knew that would come. I was warned. I understood. I was ready, I said. In the blackest of mornings I lie curled in a ball, unable to recall, the wherefores and the whys of my curious state. Alone, so alone, as I wanted to be. In that moment for the life of me I can’t see the moon. Knowing there is light, is just no help at all. I unwind my body, relax the grip of my mind, til they both drop away and all that’s left is the dark. The dark of the darkness, dark side of the moon.

I climbed up the bluff to meet the moment of solstice. At 3:03 on the nose the clouds broke, sun blazed forth, sunbeams and trumpets to herald the day. Earth paused in its orbit, trajectory resumed, predictably elliptically back to the sun. Then, though I twisted and squinted and frowned, the dark side of the moon was nowhere to be found.

One Commnet on “Only seeing one side of the moon

  1. As I read this passage the first thing that came to my mind was that we never make the wrong decisions. And are always where we are supposed to be. Sounds like a beautiful solstice.

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