a gathering across timezones & celestial bodies
Find a good sunset spot (west-facing, social distancing)
Go there for sunset the day after a new moon (eg Jan 14, Feb 12, Mar 14, Apr 12, May 12...)
Chill with the sliver of a waxing crescent in the west, starting ~an hour after sunset, until moonset ~an hour after that.
While watching, call a friend, ask if they can see the moon from where they are. Share the view.
Every sunset is a 24-hour event, starting at the international date line, then moving westward across the earth, as the earth turns toward the east. East coast people will see the sun set while it's still high in the sky for west-coasters. East Coast folks, if you call someone on the west coast while you can see the sunset, they won't be able to see the moon yet. You might not see it yet either. Just wait.
As the sky darkens, the moon will appear in the west.
If you want to bond with someone else by watching the moon at the same time, call someone in your current timezone. If they aren't already looking at the moon when you call them, they'll thank you for showing it to them.
How did this come about?
The first time my life slowed down substantially, in 2007, the moon has been a consistent source of comfort. I started writing a poem, then, to share that comfort with other people, and I'm still writing it now.
When I released my little book of twelve one-dollar poems in 2016, I started hosting long-duration poetry gatherings that center around watching the moon. I had planned one such gathering to take place in Marfa, Texas, where I had lined up a low-key artist residency. When the artist residency was nixed, COVID-style, I figured we might as well make it global.
You're still writing the poem?
As of now, a version of it is available in my little book (link above) and there's an audio reading of an earlier version of it on youtube. I'm now making a 32-page illustrated version, plus a new video. They'll both be ready in the coming months.
With many people living slower lives than they're used to, the moon's cycles have come into sharper focus. I've never become tired of spending time with the moon, and this relationship has helped to ground me in space and time. It transformed the way I experience ~spacetime~ and now I want to share that grounded transformation, that moon relationship, with other people.
But aren't there more important things we could be doing?
Yes, we can do more for ourselves, for each other, and for our environment during this historical series of moments. Epochal series of moments? Rather than taking our attention away from our bodies and off the earth, the moon gives us a chance to expand and broaden our awareness, slowing down to feel into the natural cycles of light and dark, life and death, and to focus on what's essential. This moonset is a time to slow down, for everyone's sake.
Um what if I still don't get it.
I made this video just for you.