Well ~ that explains a lot.
Tonight, Saturday, July 31, we have a Blue Moon. There are several definitions of a Blue Moon, but the simplest one, and most recent, is that a Blue Moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a Blue Moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days). July 2004 had two full moons: the first on July 2, the second on July 31— that second full moon is called the Blue Moon ~~ and Saturday's full moon was also one of "the biggest" full moons of 2004, increasing vertical tides by as much as 10-20 feet (imagine how it affects the 70% of water that is your body). The last Blue Moon we had was in November 2001, and for the next one we will have to wait until June 2007. I hope you looked up on Saturday night and saw that moon, or felt it, or heard it ....... above you, around you, inside you.
Full Moon, or Blue Moon, nights are amazing for doing "once in a Blue Moon" things like hikes and kayaking. When I lived in Mill Valley, I used to go with friends on monthly full moon hikes in the Marin Headlands ~~ we'd hike several miles, scaling these huge freaking hills, literally on all-fours up that first crest, at first in pitch dark until the moon got high enough to cast moon shadows of our stumbling figures across the hillsides, with the soft roar of the Pacific Ocean all along to our left ~~ our destination? The Pelican Inn in Muir Beach, to have a few beers ~ then we would scurry back on the fire road, or if someone was smart enough to park a car up at the Inn in advance, we would coast down the highway back home ~~ sand in our shoes, moon shadows in our eyes, and beer breath. Damn, I loved that. I've also gone full-moon kayaking (a "Full Moon Paddle") in Sausalito, around the San Francisco Bay, in October (the warmest month out here). There are these pockets of the Bay that get completely dark, the City Lights obscured by the hills, and all you can hear are your paddles skimming along the water, the sound of the sea lions in the distance, and schools of fish splashing around you ~~ then the group leaders have you "park" your kayak in the middle of this alcove, and you face East....waiting for the Moon to rise ~~ and the night I was there, we had a Harvest Moon ~~ explosive orange. And of all of us were dumbfounded, silent, as we watched this giant, orange, glowing, amazing Moon slowly rise up over the Bay and the Hills and our imaginations. Damn. Full Moons are for Full Nights.
Anyway, then I thought of that old song, Blue Moon, damn, especially the live version by Billie Holiday. But the Cowboy Junkies have a haunting, sweet, eerie, sublime version, Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis), on their amazing Trinity Session album. If you don't already own this album, get it now. Yes, go to iTunes right now and download the entire damn album. Do it.
I just got home ~ it's nearly 1 am and I'm staring out at tonight's Blue Moon, bewildered by its mystery and it beauty, drunk from the delicious 4-hour dinner with wonderful friends, and haunted by Margo Timmins' silky voice. If you don't know, The Trinity Session was recorded live in one day in November 1987 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto. Damn ~~ What do you have to show for your day today?