The September (Sunday night, 9 - 27 / 28 - 2015) Supermoon
aka Perigee Moon -- when the day of the Full Moon coincides with
the day when the Moon is nearest to Earth in its orbit.
Last month's Harvest Moon was the nearest, largest, brightest
Supermoon of the entire year
The various lunar events -- supermoons, eclipses, waxing, waning -- like so many things, are not ours to initiate or control. They belong to themselves, to the galaxy, to the universe. We can bear witness, record, describe. We can seek wisdom and gain understanding, not forgetting our role in the scheme of things (as aptly described in the Nature is Speaking videos by "Conservation International").
In his book Sabbath, community advocate Wayne Muller invites us to consider our world and our work in a larger perspective:
"Sabbath requires surrender . . . The old, wise Sabbath says: Stop now. . . . We stop because there are forces larger than we that take care of the universe, and while our efforts are important, necessary, and useful, they are not (nor are we) indispensable. The galaxy will somehow manage without us for this hour, this day, and so we are invited -- nay, commanded -- to relax, and enjoy our relative unimportance, our humble place at the table in a very large world. . . . [emphasis added]Muller also quotes from the Holocaust Diary of Esther Hillesum:
We feel how large the universe is, and how small our labors. Our work is simply one offering among countless others that have come before and will come again, when all we have planted has been grown, harvested, eaten, and forgotten.
When we stop, we see that the world continues without us . . .
The world seduces us with an artificial urgency . . .
But Sabbath says, Be still. Stop. There is no rush to get to the end, because we are never finished. . . .
You are not going anywhere. Millions have done this before you, and millions will do it after you are gone."
"Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world."
in Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives
by Wayne Muller (b 1953)
Contemporary American author, speaker, and therapist
A humorous rendition of a very similar sentiment appears in the musical My Fair Lady, when Eliza Doolittle reminds Henry Higgins of his insignificance to the workings of the universe:
. . . No, my reverberating friend
You are not a beginning and the end
There'll be spring every year without you
England still will be here without you
There'll be fruit on the tree
And a shore by the sea
There'll be crumpets and tea without you
Art and music will thrive without you
Somehow Keats will survive without you
And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain
Even that will remain without you, I can do without you
You, dear friend, who talk so well
You can go to Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire
They can still rule the land without you
Windsor Castle will stand without you
And without much ado we can
All muddle through without you
Without your pulling it the tide comes in
Without your twirling it, the Earth can spin
Without your pushing them, the clouds roll by
If they can do without you, ducky so can I. . .
Lerner & Loewe
And yet again the point is made in the movie Birdman, which features an impassioned speech from a troubled, insightful daughter (portrayed by Emma Stone) to her confused, striving father (Michael Keaton) about the value (or not) of his life's endeavor:
"Means something to who? You had a career before the third comic book movie, before people began to forget who was inside the bird costume. You’re doing a play based on a book that was written 60 years ago, for a thousand rich old white people whose only real concern is gonna be where they go to have their cake and coffee when it’s over. And let’s face it, Dad, it’s not for the sake of art. It’s because you want to feel relevant again. Well, there’s a whole world out there where people fight to be relevant every day. And you act like it doesn’t even exist! Things are happening in a place that you willfully ignore, a place that has already forgotten you. I mean, who are you? You hate bloggers. You make fun of Twitter. You don’t even have a Facebook page. You’re the one who doesn’t exist. You’re doing this because you’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter. And you know what? You’re right. You don’t. It’s not important. You’re not important. Get used to it."Gerry often tells the parable of sticking your hand into a bucket of water and taking it out again, in order to gauge how much you might be missed when moving on from one workplace to another. I googled for background information only to discover pages of entries, all pointing to this poem:
The Indispensable ManWell, now we know!
by Saxon N. White Kessinger
Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You're the best qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining
Is a measure of how you will be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you'll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable [woman or] man.
Indispensable? Perhaps not: "If you lie down, no one will die." Still, it would be nice to make a small dent of some kind, if nothing else, to leave this world a slightly better place than we found it, a modest goal.
~ Night of the Total Eclipse ~ Super Blood Moon ~
SEE YOU IN TWO WEEKS FOR MY
Next Fortnightly Post
Wednesday, October 28th
Between now and then, read Daniel's In Memoriam on
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