The ubiquity of moon motifs has done little to stem my passion - I still react like every beautiful moon manifestation is just for me. These moons are super luxe supermoons.

1. Moonlight by Ben & Aja Blanc

2. Censer by Apparatus

3. Lunar Illuminated Resin Spheres by Martha Sturdy

4. Diamond, quartz & gold Quadriluna necklace by Noor Fares, via Matches

5. All the Moons by Stella Maria Baer.

Hardly a book report: H is for Hawk

There’s a red-tailed hawk in the ravine, she built a nest midway up the radio tower on a platform climbing workers might pause to rest. And she sits there surveying the ravine below, the wide path where the rabbits gather at dusk, and the wetlands lower down. The red-wing blackbirds are in a state because of her and they heckle her when she flies the swath of ravine.

I know she’s a red-tailed hawk because there’s a sign in lower part of the ravine saying you might see a red-tailed hawk hereabouts. It’s a sign about the flora and fauna of the wetlands and it has pictures too. It’s possible that my hawk is a different kind of bird because the sign is of course not specifically about her, of course. But she’s the only hawk I’ve seen and it’s the only sign, so I think they must connect.

I brought out my camera one night to try and see her up close through the zoom lens, but she stayed in her nest and I only saw a wing stretch out. Still, I delighted in that stretch and the next morning when I woke and stretched my arm out of the bed, I thought of her.

At the foot of the radio tower, there’s a massing pile of fur. It must be from her kills. I see fewer rabbits and know she’s probably the reason. But I don’t blame her. She’s got a thing to do.

I think about what she sees and knows and how we could look at the same thing and see and know different things. I think about the hawk book H is for Hawk I read this spring and try to imagine a hawk that could suck me away from life and grief and then I would snap back, changed and alright.

But my hawk isn't this. She's only something to look up for when I walk, and to anchor my season to.

Like a bad penny

I think I was wishing for something that doesn’t exist when I quit here - an idea of self that pre-dated blogging and social media, where I didn’t feel the presence of anonymous others. Not that its a bad feeling - happily, readers here have always been benevolent. But the idea of “others” infiltrated me in ways beyond blog readership. I sometimes felt I was doing things for you. I sometimes felt I wasn’t doing things because of you too. I projected an audience watching me and then felt strangely beholden to it.

I blame the feeling watched feelings on my Catholic upbringing. It was supposed to be comforting, of course. You’re being watched from heaven and all that. And in some ways it was. In other ways, it struck judgement into the very heart of every move.

My favourite saying is that you have to climb the ladder to kick it away. I think I love it because it represents two very contrary things. Careful study and abandonment. But it’s not something I excel at. I tend to be a reckless student, a bit too eager to form my own opinion too soon. But then when it comes to abandonment I never quite feel that freedom to fully go my own way. Sometimes, I daydream things and even find myself baking into the daydreams the reactions of others; parents, friends, teachers, coworkers, even people I despise.

I guess I’m describing insecurity. Sure, I throw shapes that look a lot like confidence. Emigrating was probably the biggest - most people think emigrating must be terribly hard. But it wasn’t really. Actually that’s a lie, it was hard as hell - just not for the reasons people imagine. I didn’t even understand the ways it was hard as I was living it, the strange sort of falsity you encounter when as an adult you have to construct an identity in a place you don’t belong.

Emigrating was a superficial and dramatic way of kicking away the ladder - using distance to manufacture freedom I couldn’t have summoned living in Ireland in close proximity to family and history and things like that that can weigh heavily.

But then I got here and it wasn’t so much kicking away the ladder as beginning to climb a different one. And because it felt so new and arbitrary, I clung to each rung even harder. And eventually I found myself feeling stuck by things I didn't even necessarily feel a connection with.

I’m at an age that makes me question everything. I’ve run away from all the default decisions so there are no foregone conclusions. I’ve kept the blank slate. And yet I don’t know what to do with it. And I think because blogging felt like one of those rungs, I let it go. I hoped that some domino-effect of freedom would follow. But blogging was never really the broken thing in my world. In fact, blogging was one of the good things, even though it is a silly sort of activity.

I’ve always been interested in what we structure our lives upon because I seem to be great at deconstructing my own. Emigration blasted away familiar faces and landscapes, the physical and social underpinnings of my world. Not having connections left me without obligation. And yet it’s easy to wonder if this is precisely why it’s so hard for me to know what I want sometimes — if I’m missing a sort of cornerstone. I'm not talking about regret. But I am trying to understand what's still holding me back.