I remember driving home, that day in 1989. The moon was full and huge on the horizon, and there was an eclipse. I had decided on the way home, that I would be breaking up with James soon.
We had met in the summer, I was working at Greenpeace, he was working at NYPIRG, we all hung out a whole group of us, reading poetry to each other, listening to music, going out to see bands. He was a poet, and seemingly a nice guy. We ended up getting together that summer, and in the fall I returned to school. It was a cold November evening, when he moved down to the college town I lived in. I was subsequently kicked out of my apartment and was forced to move in with him.
After I graduated, we rented an apartment, he was going back to school and I was working while he took classes. But after only a few weeks, he decided he was going to quit, and frankly, he was becoming more and more violent with me. Tantrums of throwing a bag of potatoes in the parking lot and “accidentally” breaking things in a passive aggressive kind of way, became a smack on the arm one day, became a tantrum at my graduation, became a choke hold while I was pinned to the ground. The violence, the tantrums, and the quitting school all came together for me that evening, and I made a decision.
I sat on the front steps of the apartment, I think he was working, or maybe at class, and watched the moon, I got home about half way through the first half of the eclipse and finally went in about half after the full eclipse. It was stunningly red and huge in the sky. I remember thinking about the next full eclipse and how it was so many years in the future, I could not even fathom what was to come. The light in the dark sky brighter and easier to see than the very next day which was pitch black.
Jump ahead to that moon in the sky, a little smaller, perhaps not quite as red. And me, standing first on the deck in the front of the house, and then in the back yard for a better view. And reflecting back to that time, nearly forgotten, so many decades ago.
And here I am a proud owner now of my dream car. Living in a house where my only bills are those I make, my car and my student loan. Access to a purple hot rod whenever I want it. A grandmother. A step mother to two boys, a mother figure to two other adult children. Proud of my highly effective teacher status. Happily divorced, happily engaged. And a woman of ethics, integrity, honesty, hard work, and creativity. Selling art work, FINALLY! Supporting other artists in their endeavors. Proud to be who I am. Not a kind of hubris, but one born of knowing what I have overcome, how hard I have worked, and faith in my strong and dependable self.
I am no longer the egg, the caterpillar the butterfly, the egg, the tadpole, the frog. I feel almost as if I am some thing emerging even from these roles. The infant, the maid, the mother, the crone. Is there not a thing between mother and crone? Woman.
I am the blood red moon, harvest is upon us, the pumpkins glow orange and the apple cheery red. The stallion in the field near the house yells at me as I walk to the vegetable stand across the highway. I turn to look at him, he raises his nose in the air and then turns and runs tail flying, hoofs kicking high. I leave an apple on the fence post for him, though he has gone in the barn.