Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brendan and the Moon

Our seventeen-month-old son became aware of the moon recently. For numerous weeks I tried presenting the concept to him, more than once, usually in the early morning when he is bundled up and taken to my parents' home for temporary day care. On these moments, his concerns remain on level to Earth-bound distractions: the padded car-seat, his worn pacifier, my hand itself gesturing to the horizon. Unfortunately, his eyes never shift along my arm or motion across the layered atmosphere towards the rising action above the subdivision—

—until this past May. The three of us stood in the backyard with early twilight in process, a darker blue tone descending over the garden wall. Again we pointed at the satellite, a large pale rock level to the roof of our house. One could discern clearly all of the craters, the image of a cracked face of an ancient man smiling down. Somehow this time awareness opened in Brendan's eyes. He pointed likewise, smiling suddenly. "Schtar," he said.

"No," we corrected him, "Moon."

His eyes blinked, in full concentration. I could see his lips struggling with the syllable— he tried again, resulting in nonsensical sounds. But he smiled. A metaphor was built in less than a minute. His world gained new boundaries. A connection was developed.

The three of us remained outside for a few more moments, Brendan's perception locked on a new reality.

Later that night I wrote the following haiku:
380/ For the first time, our child notices the ghost moon rising near our house.