When you lose something or someone, the loss can feel too much to bear.
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I remember my last break-up so well.
It was by text and it was like a bad dream. I stood staring at my phone at a busy intersection as floods of people rushed past me.
I started sobbing, as the words sank in. I sobbed really loudly. But after that there was just a lot of quiet, and things felt strange for a very, very long time.
Immediately after a break-up things are so overwhelming that everything feels hard. Time is different: minutes grate, days can drag or go by in an instant. I found there was little comfort in doing the things that I used to.
You can end up piling on the negative emotions with your frustrations. You can be your own worst enemy as you urge yourself to function like you used to.
I wish someone had explained to me then that you can’t touch time, you’ve got to let things lie.
The moon was big over the railway tracks. My mum would say in a pointed voice like someone in a movie, ‘The full moon’s out tonight’, as if the night too was full, and brimming with feeling. Many different cultures and religions observe the lunar phrases, and the connection between us and the moon.
A lunar phase or phase of the Moon is the shape of the directly sunlit portion of the Moon from Earth. The Moon’s rotation is about 29.53 days. In Western culture, the four principal phases of the Moon are new moon, first quarter, full moon, and third quarter. 100% of the moon is sunlit at full moon, and 0% at new moon.
The lunar phases have different meanings in different cultures. As a young Mununjali person from South East Queensland I reflect that in many Indigenous cultures, ceremonies involving forms of storytelling such as song, oral story and dance are often held at full moon, under night light and calm conditions. Indigenous weather knowledge is observed through paying close attention to the detail of the moon which can aid navigation and fishing. The moon holds so many stories, personal and communal.
The moon is a constant. It is a reminder that things will feel easier, no matter how gradual. In a few days, the moon will present itself in a different way. And in thirty days, a new cycle will begin.
Our periods are a similar length. Even the word ‘menstruation’ comes from the Latin word ‘mensis’ which means ‘month’, and the Greek word ‘mene’, which means moon.
My responses in the weeks during the break-up were so unpredictable. Thought that walk would make you feel better but it actually made you worse? Had to leave that yoga class or movie halfway through?
I didn’t know where to go but the moon was there. I resolved that every night, whether I was at home or out with friends, I would look up at the moon and use it to mark where I was in my journey.
In a world where technology is twenty-four seven and we don’t log off, and the person who broke your heart or your relo that has just passed is still a presence on a social media page, I remind myself how important it is to anchor. This cycle has its blood and body memory deep inside of me. Nature is always reminding us that things begin again.
When I see that beautiful silver light against the sky, I sometimes take a photo, or jot down a few lines about how I’m feeling. Observing the moon during a difficult time is my own way of saying ‘I’m still here’.