There are nights when I lie on my back and look at the moon. With the palm on each hand as rest, my head tilts at an angle that is both comfortable for the neck and convenient for the eyes. The strip of hair on my forehead is softly caressed by the moonlit breeze and is sent fluttering, which brings a tickling sensation to both eyebrows and eyelids. It also brings a faint, but crisp and fresh, smell of clear misty dew so cool that it promised rain and thunderbolts.
My eyes are fixed upon the luminous whitish crescent pinned upon the night sky. Its perfect crescent shape that mimics Death’s scythe hangs lopsided; like a miswritten ‘C’ that is angled a bit to the left.
The enigmatic glow it emits is partially sapped of its strength by the smog that has quietly but noticeably plagued the metropolitan night sky. Sometimes I think this is the price of development. To move forward, one must consistently struggle with the present; change the status quo, overthrow the past and let the future run its course. But sometimes the struggle carries collateral damage in its wake, like a clogged metropolitan waterway that is stagnant and on its way to putrefaction, or a dense build up of dust and smoke that has polluted the city skyline.
Nevertheless, the stream of moonlight flows uninterrupted as the night progresses. My eyes have adjusted to the dim world that I have laid myself tonight, and the stream of moonlight comes like a quiet river flowing incessantly, without a living soul within a thousand miles. I fix my gaze upon the endless stream and wonder why the running waters seemed to have forgotten to make a sound. Some say a river that runs deep runs quietly. And that a shallow river runs noisily and conspicuously. A quipped implication that silence or being reserved means deepness, while having a raucous disposition often displays shallowness.
But if you will ask me, the serenity or chaos brought by the steady streams or raging rapids cannot be made basis for the ‘deepness’ or ‘shallowness’ of a person. Rivers are not made to be perpetually deep nor shallow. The uneven geological plates and land forms dictate water flow from the mountains down the lakes, seas, and oceans.
People bend like rushing water depending on the riverbed they are traversing; a kind of formlessness that is both collective and individual; an unpredictable switch from flexibility to inelasticity and back.
This is not the case with moonlight. A rapid, unconscious, and consistent ray of cool luminous energy flowing in precise rhythm of the hands of a clock; it is not bothered by trivialities of human conduct, nor is it eaten up by a disinterested and soulless bureaucracy and its red tape.
Moonlight is merely the reflection of a raging sun. Every day, as the sun burns itself towards collapse, it releases a sliver of itself towards the moon. It builds itself up. It takes the shape of whatever container that holds it; memory, relationship, work, ideals, and belief. Merely a sliver of a humongous star, it still however contains the unstable, immutable starlight in its most raw and primal form.
I would like to think that thoughts are streams of moonlight rather than liquid rapids. That our thoughts are the reflection of our daily life or the lack thereof. It is the intangible self capable of perpetuating the cognition of the perpetual as well as the trivial.
“’Things can be seen better in the darkness’, he said, as if he had just seen into her mind. ‘But the longer you spend in the dark, the harder it becomes to return to the world aboveground where the light is.’”
-Haruki Murakami ,1Q84