Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Moon & Childhood Innocence

Last night as I was driving to class I was captivated by the moon. I couldn't take my eyes away. I've always been a moon gazer, and being ruled by the moon, I feel a special affinity with her. Sometimes the moon feels like a masculine being and other times, I feel her feminine presence. It's difficult for me to describe how beautiful she looked last night–a dainty slice curled into a translucent golden orb–framed, reflecting each other's light upon the space they shared–the whole and the part and the brightest star, a sweep away, held by the distant and dazzling moon.


On my way to class I started to re-listen to the audio book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I loved listening to the book the first time and felt that I was in the mood for a second go. Eventually, I will check the book out from the library because there are so many spots I'd like to re-read. Anyone that has any interest whatsoever in learning more about introverts and extroverts, will gain much from this well written and researched book. I don't like labels, but introvert is a label I am and can live with and am not at all ashamed of. 

My class was interesting partially because of the group activities we had, although, I was feeling overstimulated by the noise and didn't participate that much. When it was time for us to do one last thing, I decided I wanted to work alone, so everyone else was in groups, hurrying to copy each other's answers and trying to get done to get out of class. My partner asked me if I wanted to see his answers and I said that I would  pass and that it helped me to work through he material and search for the answers myself. 

I wasn't all alone though because one of the students brought her son with her and he was sitting in front of me. He had his lego figurines and book laid out of the table that he sat at. He had turned around earlier in the class and I smiled at him. At another occasion we were watching a video and when he turned and saw that I was writing notes, he flashed his light on my paper. I looked up at him. He said, "You shouldn't write in the dark." I told him thank you. He turned back around to his table. And and I was watching the movie, I was thinking what a sweet kid he was. I asked him later what grade he was in. He said 4th, so he must have been about 9 or 10. 

So while I sat there working through my glossary words alone, the boy turned around and started chatting with me. I gave him my attention. He said how he was looking forward to school tomorrow because he had band. I asked him what instrument he played and he said the chimes. I think it was the chimes, either the chimes or the bells. He asked I wanted him to show me the song he was working on and I said sure. It was short. He went through the motions with his hands, the first time calling out the notes, then he did it using his voice to make the sound of the bells/chimes. Anyway, I have to say I was more interested in hearing what he had to say than when I was working in the group and it was more my style: One-to-one communication. 

I can't remember the exact name of the song he was playing but it was French and it had to do with the moon. He said it in French and I tried to repeat it and he said, "That's right!" The last part of our conversation was priceless to me and brought me back to the simplicity and innocence of childhood:

"Did you see the moon?" I asked

"Yes, it was a quarter moon!"

"And did you see the sta..."

"The star! Yes! It was right across from it."

"It looked so beautiful."

My heart was so touched. Except for some children, writers, poets, nature lovers, how many students in the class would have truly seen the moon as this boy did? It was wonderful to share the moment with him and to know that he truly saw it and was just as touched.

We chatted some more and towards the end, he said to me, "You have a good attitude. I like you." I kept my eyes on his and said, "I like you too." There was a pause, then he said, "Friends?" And I affirmed his question and with the carefreeness and confidence of of childhood, I said, "Friends" and I smiled.

At some point in our conversation he told me I looked like I was about 12. I said, "Wow, really...Thanks."

I started packing up and we said our goodbyes. I wished him a fun band class and said good bye; he thanked me and said goodbye.

I walked to my car with a light step, and in some ways thinking, I've gotten to a point in my life, where children make more sense to me. I've always been in touch with my inner child, but there was just something that made me feel that I should be or belong amongst reality I don't think it's in my cards, but that doesn't mean I can't make the most of the experiences that bring me in contact with children.


Sliver of a moon
you are especially dazzling
tonight. Orb glows sending
messages across the gap to a shining
star. Crisp air. I step out of the car
and Jacaranda, your scent arrests
my senses. I inhale your spicy tangerine
aroma that fills me with the feeling that I
am at the entrance to a great hearth
in the kingdom of...I reach out,
my fingers touch the handle–
I turn, ready to enter.


Ryan said...

My inner child is like a fleeting clarity, I see it in glimpses but I can never catch the whole picture, which is fine because it keeps me from picking it apart. Children bring it out in me without me even knowing it, but the way it makes me feel is like a sacred thing to me. There are only a few other things I know that make me feel so naturally free because kids don't understand boundaries and limits. Whatever they can think can be. I grew up young I'm ways I shouldn't have had to and I'm trying to learn now how to be all those things kids can be.... honest, forgiving, present, and a vast array of many other things.

Haha, sorry, that's a sensitive subject to me, but it makes me feel good.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Sounds like you're really enjoying your class. The moon is a really beautiful and powerful thing isn't it? It really has an effect on me. I love few things more than a full moon on a clear autumn night.

Rebb said...

"My inner child is like a fleeting clarity..." Love that, Ryan. I loved reading your response. I can hear the joy and freedom in your voice Wonderful! : )

It seems like we go through life learning how to "grow up" then we reach a point where we have to remember how to be a child again, or at least get in touch with those aspects that we lose along the way and that we need to truly appreciate life.

Rebb said...

I am enjoying this class, Keith, but I'll be glad when this semester is over. That managerial class is kicking my butt! Yes...the moon really is beautiful and powerful...some nights the energy pulls me in more powerfully. It's like I'm hypnotized.