I know that I’m a bit of a lunatic; not mad but ruled in some degree by the Moon. I know this, in spite of not remotely adhering to any ‘new age’ philosophies. I side with the rationality and reasonableness of the scientist at every turn. Science would laugh in my face, if I were to propose that the Moon and I are in a relationship, but that doesn’t change the fact that La Luna and I are in sync.
Just two days ago I came out of one of my choir’s AGM’s, feeling unusually buoyant. In my new capacity as choir secretary I had taken meeting minutes for the first time in my life (an absolute doss of a job by the way, being that my employer writes all the emails and my ridiculously made up job is to forward these missives to a choir group email, occasionally add new contacts and type up minutes once a year.) There the choir had sat on rock hard, plastic school chairs, in a very large semi-circle, covering nearly the entire width of the school hall. We’d done our usual warm up to launch us into a bit of singing. ‘Stand up. Roll your head from side to side,’ our leader had intoned. ‘Shake your arms, shake your legs, shake away all that work stress,’ she had cried (‘I don’t work, yay for me,’ I had silently gloated in my head) …….now wash your arms like you’ve never had a wash in your life, and they’re really, really dirty (this was a new, particularly weird one but rapid rubbing movements along each arm ensued)……now wash your legs…….now jump up and down on the spot (our 94 year old choir member was exempt, and the polished wooden floor didn’t benefit from forty-odd middle-aged women (and younger), of varying degrees of fatness and fitness, leaping about)……now scrunch your face up tightly……..and let go! There! How do we feel? Better?’ Yes, I felt better. I was in a choir ‘bubble,’ safe from the rubbishy outside world.
We had begun with our usual meander around the hall, whilst singing, and occasionally pausing to look meaningfully into the eyes of a random neighbour, singing at him/her (it’s usually a her, since there are just two men in the choir) with a friendly grin on our faces (this excruciating sort of ice breaking exercise is not popular, due to the fact it makes you feel like a complete idiot.) ‘I hope we don’t do that stupid walking about thing again,’ my neighbour had urgently whispered in my ear, just before our leader commanded that we all stand up and do the stupid walking about thing again. She had then begun singing something which sounded like ‘Simway, un day day Simway,’ ‘Come on, follow me,’ she had cried, gleefully. Our otherwise esteemed leader has an unfortunate obsession with African tribal songs and forgets that her choir don’t speak any of the approximate 100 languages used in Africa. And so it was that we ambled round in circles, with a desperate look in our collective eyes, attempting to replicate the weird sounds emanating from our leader’s throat. Whilst walking in time to my own inner beat, I noticed with what calm and ease I managed to catch the eye of another wanderer, and how forcefully I sang into their face, whilst assuming a grin of Joker proportions. Enough to scare off any potential new friend.
We then sat down and our leader launched unexpectedly into the AGM, which was got through with rapid fire quickness. Taken unawares, I fumbled around for my notepad and pen, seated on my chair within the semi-circle and practically at the other end of the hall from our leader. ‘Blah, Blah, Blah,’ she rattled on, ‘Waffle, Waffle, Waffle; whilst I picked out the most salient points and wrote them down. ‘Did you get that Susan?’ our leader would intermittently bellow from the other side of the hall. ‘Yes,’ I would screech back, nodding furiously, whilst grinning inanely. It was all very professional.
More singing and general pratting around followed and then I was rushing to my car, at half past seven, in darkness. Approaching the school gates I looked up and let out an involuntary WOW! For there, in a black and cloudless sky, hung a gigantic and yellow full Moon, of such mind-blowing proportions I thought some cosmic calamity had occurred. Had the Earth shifted its position? And wouldn’t that have been accompanied by earthquakes, plagues of locusts and the like? It turns out that this gigantic Moon was what is known as a ‘Moon illusion.’ This is a thing that scientists can’t quite explain; why does the Moon look many, many times bigger when it sits just above the horizon?
The Moon appeared to be a foot or two above the house directly in front of me. If I reached out I could have touched it. It was astounding. And then I knew why I’d enjoyed choir, and why I’d stared directly into people’s eyes, and why I had spoken almost fluently during another ice-breaker exercise our leader had suddenly sprung upon us towards the end. It was because there was a FULL MOON; an astoundingly full Moon.
These are things that happen when the Moon is full:-
- I look 10 years younger. I know this because the husband regularly comments on it, roughly once a month and I go, ‘there must be a full Moon then,’ and there always is. The husband is even beginning to believe in the ‘Power of the Moon;’ he has taken to calling me a female werewolf.
- I become temporarily fluent. For roughly two days the stammer all but disappears and I can interact with people in a socially acceptable manner.
- My tinnitus becomes almost inaudible. The incessant screeching in my head lowers to a mild annoyance, to reappear with increased intensity when the Moon is on the wane.
- My hormones were always in sync with the Moon and, just because I’m menopausal, that doesn’t seem to have changed – hence the looking younger at a full Moon and the increased feelings of well-being towards my fellow man and mother earth. It’s no accident that I did a serious bit of intense gardening over those two days.
- I seem to take action and make decisions more firmly when the moon is full.
I don’t track the Moon’s cycle in order to take advantage of my full Moon ‘benefits.’ And I know that the idea of there being some kind of personal link between me and a giant rock in the sky is absurd, but that doesn’t stop it from being seemingly true.
And, strangely, no scientist has yet come up with a convincing theory for how the Moon got there (something else about the moon they don’t know) – how it became such a close and influential neighbour, controlling tides and whatnot. Isn’t it strange that the only living planet we know of should have its own disproportionately large satellite, which keeps it spinning evenly on its axis; gives light in the darkness and may even have triggered life here on earth. So, the Moon’s existence is a very positive thing and we need a more positive word than lunatic to describe its influence on us humans – even though the boffins deny there is any such influence.
I’m going with Moonstruck, which apparently also means madness and folly, but has a much better ring to it. And during the two days I was moonstruck, I was also suddenly struck by an urge to message my choir leader; to tell her of the positive and enabling impact she’d had on my life, over the past three years, via her children’s choir and now the adult one. How I had gone from someone who dreaded the weekly choral shenanigans; who had felt like an outsider; who had felt alienated; to someone who could now talk to strangers with relative ease and who now felt part of something.
My message made her cry. It’s amazing what a full moon can do.