there’s a bad moon on the rise
once upon a time the moons of the milky way talked amongst themselves
After reading Wolf Moon by Nina MacLaughlin
Did SB plan this project to start on a full moon, with a lunar eclipse no less? My plan was all ready to follow my favourite full moon YouTube yoga class, so finding a reading prompt addressing the moon, from a column the writer publishes each full moon, feels like fate.
Asking questions of the moon seems such a sacred, secret human impulse. To write out the most inane of human inventions — the questionnaire — for the moon to answer is my favourite blend of irreverence and whimsey. Out of all the questions asked, the answer I would most like to know is which of the other moons our moon likes most.
While I’m at this, can I also ask our moon if the other moons, with names like Pandora, Styx, Oberon, and Phoebe, make fun of our moon for just being called Moon? Do they ask our moon what it feels like to have humans walk on you?
In my gossipy space fantasy, moons can communicate with other moons, but sadly, they cannot talk to planets. Indeed, the moons do not know if and/or how the planets even communicate with each other, but they’re too absorbed in moon drama to care about planetary opinions. Although, they heard what the humans said about poor Pluto and they think we’re arrogant beyond reason to claim authority over the solar system. That’s a bold claim from satellites that act very human in their impulse to hear every song written about the moon as played for them exclusively.
I wonder if our moon ever answered Nina MacLaughlin’s questions, and if either of them might tell me which song is our moon’s favourite. Because it seems to me that our moon can understand us and, when it feels so inclined, can be understood.
Out of the moon-ward songs that MacLaughlin listed, I suspect that “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival is our moon’s favourite.
Proximity to humans and our existential shit has given the moon a firm grasp of symbolism. So, while the other moons take the lyrics literally, or perhaps they understood it as, “there’s a bathroom on the right,” our moon knows the song is about impending doom. And as far as our moon is concerned, the song was already about 100 Gregorian years too late to warn humans of their impending climate apocalypse.
Oh, to be Callisto. Out there orbiting Jupiter. Knowing only that humans exist on Earth and have given you a lovely name. Or Phoebe and Miranda traveling around Saturn together unconcerned with what rings mean to human Phoebes and Mirandas.
If the moons have enough of an Earthly hierarchy to ridicule our moon for its namelessness, do you think they base their social status on who was identified and named first? Well, there’s a celestial contradiction for you: if the best moon is the first discovered by humans, that would be our moon.
Or perhaps it isn’t the human connection to Earth’s moon that elevates it among its well-named peers. Perhaps it is the way Earth’s other living beings regard the moon that gives it primacy. Perhaps it is how much pull the moon has over life on earth. Tides, plants, werewolves, poetry.
Having a cool name and being discovered by Galileo is one thing. Occupying such a sacred and essential place as Earth’s moon is quite another.
What our solar system’s moons think of the Sun and all the other stars they’ve seen come and go through time, they will not say. They know their ultimate future and the only answer they’ll give me is, “Creedence Clearwater Revival.”