Garth Stein's novel The Art of Racing in the Rain is about going for the Moon, living on the Moon. This is another way of saying following one's dreams, living one's dreams. For Denny Swift, one of the novel's main characters, the Moon is race car driving. I love this - it is such a non-altruistic Moon! I mean, this guy's Moon isn't helping the poor or establishing world peace or promoting the arts - it's race car driving! Racing cars! Speeding! WOW!!!!!! Racing cars pulls Denny out of himself and into something larger - the race. This is ecstasy - this is the Moon - being empty of oneself and opening to the deep joy of something much larger.
I say that Denny's Moon is not an altruistic one. Yet Denny is a deeply compassionate person. He is also eager to extend a hand to those in need and to mentor young passionate race car drivers, including providing financial help for them to achieve their racing dreams.
So, now, what is my Moon? I don't think I have just one. I think that there are various things that give me joy. I seem to have ignored them, though, over the last several years. Now that I'm in my sixties, perhaps it's time to resurrect them. They seem to revolve around the arts, exploration, home-making, and God.
I enjoy writing and reading, drawing and absorbing visual art, making and listening to music. I enjoy the opera, the symphony, bands, smaller instrumental ensembles or soloists, choral music, vocal soloists. I especially enjoy music that I've listened to and studied. I enjoy the theater, especially if I've read the play, and most especially if I've participated in reader's theater. I enjoy reading and discussing books. I enjoy journaling and blogging. I enjoy clarifying my thoughts through writing. I enjoy spending time with visual art. I enjoy drawing. I enjoy dance. I enjoy seeing sign language. I enjoy ritual. I enjoy color and design.
Here are some things that I'd love to make happen.
- Have a piano in my home again, and take piano lessons
- Form and play in a piano quartet
- Attend the New Orleans opera season (I have tickets!)
- Exhibit a full series of my art work with other amateur artists
- Form and participate in a reader's theater, based on plays to be performed in New Orleans
- Publish small books, based on my blogging and journaling
This takes the form of travel, especially travel with particular points of interest to explore.
I think of my trip up the Mississippi River in August of 2000, which included the Indian Mounds near St. Louis, Herbert Hoover's home in Iowa, the Mississippi River locks, a week-long writer's workshop at the Split Rock Arts Institute of the University of Minnesota at Duluth, the source of the Mississippi River in Itasca State Park where you can actually step across the Mississippi, the State Capitol Building of Nebraska, and performances by the Lawrence Welk Champagne Orchestra with the Lennon Sisters and by the Sons of the Pioneers in Branson.
I also think of another driving trip that included the Ave Maria grotto just north of Birmingham, the Civil Rights Museum in Birmingham, and a rabbit sanctuary in South Carolina. And I think of my visit to Black Beauty Ranch, a large animal sanctuary near Dallas.
Well, what do I envision now? What is my exploration Moon? I would say that my main Moon is to drive the Ring Road at the height of summer in Iceland. This is very ambitious. I would love to do this, and to somehow get paid to write about it. I think I would need a travel companion. I would certainly need to overcome my fear of and aversion to flying. In any case, I can begin by immersing myself in my wonderful Iceland guide book. Another Moon is a trip to the Northeast - culminating at the Trapp Family Lodge. This would would certainly include visits to friends along the way. And yet another Moon is a trip to the West. The West is huge. I think of Carsbad Caverns, Taos, the Rocky Mountains, southern California, and British Columbia.
So here they are - I will list just two exploration Moons because the one about the West is not specific enough.
- Drive Iceland's Ring Road
- Stay at the Trapp Family Lodge
This seems a bit odd, but it's there. It includes having friends over, informally as well as for more elaborate parties. I think I'll list just one Moon here.
- Give regular theme parties
I love to read about God, to learn about how different people have envisioned God, to explore ways of connecting with God. I find that my old childhood concept of God tends to get in the way. The God of my childhood, for instance, would hardly approve of going for the Moon if one's Moon is race car driving - or driving Iceland's Ring Road. I find that I can relate to God much more easily when I envision God as Mother, or even Grandmother. I also like to envision God as the Tower of 70,000 Doors and 70,000 Windows, or the God of Infinite Perspectives. Sometimes I think that God would love for us to grow up and let go of parental concepts of God. Perhaps God is Being with all the power and potential that Being entails - whether for good or for evil. (I see Being as centered in, but not forcing, the good - beauty, compassion, joy.)
I find that the Druidry materials of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids are excellent for connecting with God. The materials teach not just intellectually but experientially, engaging mind, body, emotions, and soul. I also find that one can incorporate aspects of Druidry into another faith tradition, such as Christianity. I have fallen away from these materials and want to get back into them.
A huge part of Druidry is honoring one's own body and the Earth. Druidry is very much grounded in the physical world while recognizing that the physical is only part of reality.
So here are my God Moons.
- Study all the Druidry lessons for the Bardic grade
- Live in ways that promote the health of my own body and of the Earth
LIVING MY MOONS
So, those are some of my Moons. I intend to resurrect my Moons (I think that I have just resurrected them by writing this post) and to live my Moons in this decade of my sixties.