When was the last time you stopped to look up at the moon?
What did she have to say to you?
This morning, wheeling my bike out to the road, I looked up, above the houses opposite. A pink-and-blue morning sky, and a crisp, clear-edged half moon, with just a few hours to go, I suppose, before it became a perfect semi-circle. ‘Moon!’ I said, but I was tired and grumpy, and didn’t wait for a reply before cycling off.
Of late, I’ve been paying more attention to the moon than I used to. I’ve been noticing where in the cycle we are. I’ve been looking at the little circles in my diary and at the app on my phone, so that even if I can’t see the moon, I know what’s going on. I can tell whether it’s waxing or waning by looking which way the curve faces.
I’ve also been noticing my own rhythms. Not those rhythms – I’ve never had a regular menstrual cycle, and, if I’m honest, really don’t give a toss – but the less obvious rhythms, the ones that only become obvious when I pay very careful attention. This year, I noticed that every time I participated in a month-long writing activity, I ran out of steam after the first two weeks. I noticed that engaging in social activities on adjacent weekends leaves me feeling exhausted and anti-social. I read Slow Time. And I started wondering.
This year’s experiment is going to involve the moon. I’m going to see how a two weeks on/two weeks off cycle works for me. I’ll begin work on my projects at the new moon, working as intensely as I feel moved during the following two weeks, and then take stock at the full moon. After that I’ll wind down; I’ll tie up loose ends, but I won’t expect my productivity to be nearly so high. I’ll pay particular attention to rest and recuperation. I will make sure to leave every other weekend clear.
My day job will continue as normal. There are some things over which I have no control! But even there I’ll pay attention to the peaks and troughs, and where work eats one weekend I’ll make sure I get the next one to myself.
I have, of course, a whole chorus of objections in my head:
- “What The Hell Is This WooWoo Hippie Shit”
- “You Know You Don’t Believe A Word Of This”
- “You Realise Your Coffee Cup Exerts More Of A Gravitational Pull On You Than The Moon Does”
(These three are slightly mollified by my assuring them that I’m treating the moon more as a clock.)
- “You Are A Disgrace To The Sisterhood”
(This one thinks that actually I should be attempting to align my menstrual cycle with the moon, to which I say, blow that for a lark)
- “What Is Wrong With You Why Can’t You Just Push On Through”
(To which I point out that this approach has been working so well of late, hasn’t it?)
So perhaps that’s what the moon’s got to say to me today. Two weeks of waxing, two weeks of waning, is enough for anybody. I’ll let you know how it goes.