Moon in Sagittarius

Uncharacteristically, I don’t want to talk to strangers. There’s too much background to fill in for even the simple pleasantries. Besides, I feel some kind of sacred loyalty or bonding that I need to immerse in, exclusively psychically relating to Celia and our little space-time bubble. We are unplugged from most of the constant media onslaught. What does impinge, we pretty much ignore as if that world is from another place and time. I exchange emails with Tom and some other friends. We keep it personal. This is a time for only intimacy. Small talk, small concerns, won’t do.

There is a park near my mother’s home, an easy walk. It isn’t huge, but large enough to find areas thick with trees and wild growth allowing the illusion of a natural environment. I go there at odd hours, when I am unlikely to encounter picnickers or children at play. I can run and stomp and open my lungs, feel free. Other times Celia and I walk here together. She is still able to get around pretty well, though she tires easily. I insist it’s important that she get outside, move about, take walks and breathe in greenery. She laughs at my demanding, but enjoys the fussing over attention and walking in the park. Even on rainy days, protected by our plastic hooded ponchos and galoshes, we fall into the magic fantasies evoked by puddles filled with layers of muddied colored leaves and ubiquitous odors of life — Earth and Sky.

Celia has neglected to get to know her neighbors since she moved here. At first she spent most of her time at work or socializing with her work companions. At home she was happy to engage with her routine and personal projects. Once she gave up on her job, she didn’t want to deal with getting to know strangers. She even let her work-based relationships lapse. She is withdrawing from this world, not opening to it. She can be so self-sufficient and reserved. The neighbors, out of respect or fear or more likely indifference, don’t pry, don’t stop by or stop her on the street to chat. There is no hostility. It’s more everyone keeping to their own space, their own concerns, the relationships or chatting companions with whom they are comfortable. Even the old couple that lives downstairs act as if our homes were separated by more than floor to ceiling. We are in our separate spaces, separate lives, with those who do not need to be filled in on background. It is almost as if we, my mother and I, were encapsulated in a bubble world that we have created for ourselves to open up within, privately, to each other, because that is where our attention and awareness are fixed, fixated. We do create our own realities, each individually, then in tandem, moving outward or holding inward as far as we choose.

On the streets, in public, in the marketplace, people engage with masks, superficially, smiling briefly to signal non-aggression, avoiding any extended meeting of eyes. It’s what’s polite. Politic, as in the personal is political. There is that constant outside of consciousness masking against everyone we encounter, posturing, adjusting masks to remain safely unseen. Then, tragically often we merely readjust those masks in our private encounters, jockeying for position perhaps or testing to see what we can gain while preventing loss. Politics and economics rule the social scene, in the large and the small. On the rare occasions, the miraculous meetings of minds and souls when we do feel free to really be with another real being, becoming aware of our usually unconscious masking can be painful, or at least an uncomfortable irritant in contrast to the exuberant authenticity.

Breathing green air, filtered by vegetation, or car-fumed and factory enhanced air encouraging lungs to mask in hope of filtering out toxic impurities, what do we choose?

The buzz is the world is going to hell in a handbasket. Who agreed to that world? Who is selling the handbaskets, and who is buying them? Who is defining Hell?