Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Baladi Moon: Another Homecoming

Moonrise over Nevada. Photo taken on the road home.
Moonrise over Nevada. Photo taken on the road home.

Baladi (Arabic: بلدى‎ baladī; relative-adjective "of town", "local", "rural", comparable to English "folk", with a lower-class connotation) -- Wikipedia

Perhaps I neglected to mention yet another migration. Nowadays, our shifting of location is regulated less by the seasons & more by the heartstrings. Thusly, we adapt.

It seems to me that there was no mistake when my dance instructor chose to direct my studies toward Baladi just as we return home -- to my home, the land of my birth & the house I loved at first sight. I am, despite a liberal education & a small degree of worldliness, still a desert rat at the core. 

And don't I know it.

As part of my dance studies, I was given an assignment to document the sounds of my environment. I struggled with this in our Alaskan city's muffled winter... traffic, jets, the humming of the bathroom fan, the sounds of my children sleeping... I felt I couldn't discern much & most of which I did seemed unsatisfying.

And perhaps the truth is that I often don't have the quietude within myself to listen while I am in an urban environment, even one as idiosyncratically wild & magickal as ours. 

But my first day here in this obscure, rural outpost in the high desert I wrote:
"Sounds from my home (the home of my birth, the one from which my blood is made): cattle maaawing at sunrise, wild turkeys cackle like a gang of drunken comedians, the collared doves with their sad-sounding cries, the occasional diesel engine of a truck loaded with hay, or dogs, or children... and SILENCE."
Silence. Silence is the key. Absence of input makes the sensory experience more refined. When the constant drone of the hive is replaced by silence, sounds become staccato -- they are rendered pure. This makes all the difference.

The rest of the family notices these perceptual, perhaps qualitative differences too. Depending on who they are, they mention how the food tastes better, the toys are more engaging or the Sun is brighter & warmer. In this rustic environment, everything moves at a much slower, more relaxed pace & despite the overwhelming amount of work to be done, the sense of pressure is minimal, while the work is somehow more satisfying. 

And the Moon, oh, that Moon! She is always at Her finest. There is nothing, nothing at all like the Moon slung low over the desert, cradled by a Night sky that bears stars that not only can be seen, but are too plentiful to count. 

Baladi Moon. How much more sense it all makes from this side of the journey. All the pieces, they just keep fitting together. Perfectly even. 


brian taylor said...

Today, up on Cock Hill, high enough above the valley to have left all trace of its traffic noise behind, I heard my first skylark of the year. Wonderful. The little bird climbed higher and higher, becoming a little black dot, circling round, pumping out a continuous stream of shimmering song. Up there you could hear every nuance.

Moma Fauna said...

Brian, isn't is sublime? I like to watch the Turkey Vultures circle on the winds. It is as if I am watching a silent film. There is something equally potent to the silence as there is to the punctuation of sound. I find that there is something about birds in particular which enhances this experience.

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