The Last Morning of a Cold Moon

It’s late morning and the sky is a baby shower of pinks and blues, and the fields are frosted with fragile crystals that rise from blades of grass and sharp-edged rocks. The moon is full and painted with shadows. It’s odd how this 3-dimensional moon makes everything feel unreal. The world’s Trompe-l’œil. An existential joke.

Twenty minutes into the walk and my fingers begin burning from the cold. My bones ache. Back at the house it hurts to squeeze the release for the clasp on Leonard’s collar. One more day of teaching before Christmas break. Teaching from home again because we are living through a pandemic of fits and starts and dreads. Sometimes I wonder if the virus is nature testing carefully, patiently trying various combinations before mounting a full-on defence against us.

Or whether we are just watching what has always been happening.

Since B. was given a terminal diagnosis she’s been wondering if other people, if given the choice, would rather know what’s coming – or just get hit by a bus. She says she is grateful for the time to wrap things up. I’m thinking (even after having had those moments of thinking, “this is it”), I still don’t know what I would choose.

It strikes me (again) that I am grateful for not having to choose, for the resignation and the ability to rest in powerlessness: accepting the freedom that affords. And the sudden accountability.

There’s no need to meditate on my own corpse. Impermanence is evident. Everywhere.