I woke up in a snarl of sheets and blankets diagonally across my bed this morning. It was a restless night. My mind was very clear though, and this is the word that was right there the moment I knew I was awake: observation.
Now my revelation is fading fast with the light of day, and I’m chasing it down like a lizard after mosquitoes. I lunge and miss, lunge and miss and then latch on with a satisfied smack. I remember. It’s about moonlight.
I read a book recently titled Caribbean Poetry, Folktales and Short Stories, self published by Ophelia Powell Torres and Victor Torres. I don’t know them, but reading their little tome is a lot like successful treasure hunting.
Here’s the last line on page eleven, a poetic list of adages with the heading “Tales to Live By” :
Never fall asleep under the moonlight, you may get up with your mouth twisted.
Oh boy, are they ever right! Here I am now, like a dog mouthing its hindquarters relentlessly in search of an annoying flea.
I am reminded of Keswick, my farmer friend across way, in Maine. He used to say that if the light of a full moon hit you while you were sleeping, it would make you crazy. He said he slept with his head in the closet when the moon was full. I’m not going to comment on his sanity here.
A psych nurse who worked in the Supermax prison once told me that full moon nights were the busiest, and I’ve heard the same thing from friends in law enforcement and other psych units.
Here’s where the observation comes in: It’s not only people who have already gone over the edge of something who are lunatics, this can happen to anyone careless enough to sleep with their blinds up on a clear night.
© 2010 Jennifer M. Pierce, All Rights Reserved