Hours before the dawn of November 14, I sit at my window, watch the starless sky, and can hardly wait to see the moonset over the ocean.
I am fascinated by the definition of full moon in my diverse cultures. As an Iranian, I grew up admiring its beauty and have fond memories of “moon watching” around the haystacks of my father’s farms. Americans find an eeriness in full moon as it brings out the howling wolves and even evokes madness, myths that were perhaps meant to give Halloween more of a scare to celebrate.
When I wrote “The Moon Daughter,” many readers asked about the relevance of its title to the story. I had to explain that in Persian, the moon is a metaphor for beauty, both inside and out. In fact, to describe a beautiful face – as well as the nicest person – sometimes all one has to say is “Maah”– the moon. No other words needed!
I look out and notice the sky is beginning to light up, though ample light has been there all night long. I am reminded of my old nanny, who on such nights used to say, “God left his light on!” So I take a picture of the moon’s reflection on water and make some coffee. This is a great time to think. And to write.
John Haywood coined the phrase “The moon is made of green cheese,” however, in literature the moon continues to shine in a variety of exquisite metaphors. To Mark Twain, “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody,” an idea that was later shared by Khalil Gibran. “We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.” One of my favorite descriptions comes from Gustave Flaubert in The Temptation of St. Antony. “And he beholds the moon; like a rounded fragment of ice filled with motionless light.” I watch the clear sky and think of Rumi. “Like the moon, without legs, I race through nothingness . . .”
As I look out again, rising sun has given the pale moon a pink hue that almost matches my roses.
I am richer for having two cultures. Forever a lover of poetry, I treasure good literature, even when it gives my moon a dark face. At the moment, the moon is part of my garden, so stunning that the stars don’t dare show their faces and only a rose has come to join me as we say goodbye to this unique vision.