The ache in the blood, the longing for what no longer exists, the wish that the holiday lights and old music still wove magic. The only magic you hope for is to wake on January 2, 2011 and know the holidays are over. You're a newly divorced person, a parent who's lost a child, a worker without your work. The only words you really want to say are: "Beam me back, Scotty. There's no tender life here."
Tonight is Full Moon and a full lunar eclipse. I've been hunting through old letters, journal writing and emails. "You should write your next book about us," he once said. I tell myself I can't do that and I have already begun. By late afternoon, I need to run away.
I drive east, out into the flowing basin range. The sun drops behind a bank of indigo clouds, sends up a blurred ray of gold and is gone. I park and watch the opposite horizon. I remembered watching for moonrise near the Joshua Buddha, how the December desert air was sweet in my lungs.
This Northwest moon does not appear. Later at home, I haul the trash bin down through the snow to the curb. When I look up, the moon floats fat and cool silver above Pilot Butte. I remember tenderness. I remember the futility of hunting miracles long gone. I remember that the work, no matter what I might wish, has a life of its own.