For every perigee, an equal and predictable apogee

One night in Venice

Dear One,
Am I the moon and you the earth? If so, what then is the sun?

The moon recedes, will reach its furthest point from earth this year on May 19 as it slowly starts to spin away.  Away. What brilliance shone on May 5 must be remembered. Will you walk into the dim lit dark, look up into the sky and wait?

dateline: PORT TOWNSEND, Washington, one May evening

Upon finding myself walking behind a grey-haired man and a white-haired woman not holding hands on a Friday night and following them into Sweet Laurette Cafe.

His right hand is in his right pocket instead of holding hers. The tilt of his shoulders in stride veers just that much toward the sidewalk. Away from her.

There’s enough space to fit another adult between them.

She bounds, feet wildly meeting the pavement as if an afterthought of movement, a requirement, this tethering to the earth. Her legs flail. Is it possible that one wants to head right and the other left?  She glances furtively at him, catches the side of his cheek, not his eyes.  She swivels her gaze wide in the opposite direction.

They lack the lean, the comfort of aging into each other, the ah yes, it’s you and I’m so glad.

Not that there’s tension. No sparks fly. None of either kind.

She will let him dawdle over the menu. He will wait while she spoons great gobs of loganberry pie à la mode into her mouth long after his hunger has been sated.

She will snort when she laughs and his silence will halt her mirth.

He will pick the chicken from the spot where his gums recede with the sharpened fingernail of his left pinky.  They will walk back up the hill, no closer than when they descended.


I want to tell her, (but of course I don’t because that might admit too much), nature teaches trust amidst her rhythmic wax and wane.  I want to tell her about the moon. But of course that would be too metaphoric for a stranger I never met.  I might tell you instead.

If you want to chart the progress of the moon, check out this Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator.

If you’re more poetically inclined, take exactly one minute, nine seconds to have a listen to Caroline Caddy read her poem, “Editing the Moon.”


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