‘Patricia’s Pen features two writers this month:-
Yash Seyedbagheri – Moondance
Doug Hawley – Freedom
Claire Deveraux loves to dance with the moon on cool autumn nights. Of course, she tells no one, not even her friends who are all high-powered professionals, lawyers, doctors, people who live by cold facts and statistics. She needs something of her own, without demands, without judgment. She’s given up enough as it is, relegated her true self more than once.
She goes to the field outside town to dance where she can focus on the mountains with their gorgeous jagged peaks rather than the bland Stalinist-style office buildings downtown. Claire whirls around in the vast field, reaching to the luminous disc above, straddling the moon. Or so it seems. The moon smiles, welcomes her into this new world. It invites her to share herself, asks for her hand, for her body, for things concealed by society. She’s afraid, but the moon whispers, letting her no there is no judgment happening here. It speaks to her in a tender hush.
Claire reveals herself bit by bit, dance after dance, exposes the desire to seek beauty, not commodification. To enjoy things without explanation or cold logic. She wants peace, solace, and joy, to absorb the world’s beauty, the small details. She doesn’t want profits and perfidy. She tells the moon this, in words and bodily motions.
Claire likes to think the moon approves and accepts her without question. The idea is comforting. Claire thinks of her friends, moving with cold precision, uncovers more and more of herself, anger flowing with a kind of swiftness, to be replaced by love and joy, raw and unfettered. Her inhibitions fade like stardust. She dances on, dances without rules. Her arms outstretched, head thrown back, flame-coloured hair blowing in the tender breeze, silhouetted by her luminous protector. With each gesture, she senses a release from her body, her mind, while the moon watches on, a gentle, loving luminous friend and partner, dancing with her in the still of the night, whispering to her in ways her friends never will.
Last week I was returning from a normal work party removing ivy (ivy seemed like a good idea at the time) in my local Portland area Tryon State Park when I saw a herd of deer 150 feet (or forty-some meters to the non-US) ahead of me on the trail with a man behind them. This seems odd because while deer are seen occasionally in the park; a whole herd would be unusual. As I got closer, I could tell that my inferior depth perception, which had caused me to fail as a baseball outfielder, had failed me again. These eight animals were baby goats about a foot and half high (or half a meter to most of the world).
I asked the man behind them if he were their goatherd, but he demurred. We agreed that they probably originated in the environmental education farm about a hundred yards (or meters) away. They seemed to be having a great time on their walk gamboling (not gambling – goats aren’t idiots) without restraint. If you want to see what that looks like, check out Youtube. Different goats, but you get the idea. They were socialized to the extent that people seemed to be neither particularly interesting nor fear inducing. I didn’t get the chance to find out what they think of dogs, which are common in the park.
My work partner later confirmed that their enclosure had broken and they all decided to go on a harmless walkabout. Now that they are back in their corral, I wonder if their leader is planning for another prison break. Was their day of freedom like playing hooky? They might not have enjoyed the day off if they had known about the coyotes.
Previously published by Wilderness House (2016)
Pictures from Pixabay.