Yesterday, my friend Lexie (who runs the amazing blog Copper Oranges – of endless inspiration to me, especially the posts about her wedding) posted her answers to the Moon List – a series of questions to ask every moon cycle. As I’ve been writing for myself and not sharing, I found the Moon List to be an excellent exercise in introspection and taking stock of what’s going on around me, and I wanted to share. Some of you may know I have an adversarial relationship with the moon, but some of you may also know that I love the idea of regular check-ups to keep the chain on my bicycle brain greased. Thanks to Lexie for the great new practice!
01 OBJECT (NEW): A NEW OBJECT THAT HELD SIGNIFICANCE
The saga of the oven is familiar to most of my friends and family. My favorite thing to do on a Sunday is to roast a chicken and sit on the couch in the golden hour and listen to music. This is an activity that I attempted oh so many times in the (ahem) humble apartment Sam and I have lived in for about a year. Our previous oven was charming: it had a piece of metal that you had to navigate to fit baking dishes inside. It was charred black from years (maybe decades?) of people trying to roast chicken during the golden hour on Sunday. It filled the house with practically billowing smoke, and it cooked at whatever temperature it damn well felt like. This month, for its last trick, it stopped turning on altogether.
The new oven arrived after two calendar weeks of using the Instant Pot, complaining to our property manager, complaining to the property manager’s supervisor, complaining to all of my friends and family, using exactly 100% of my capacity to negotiate, and four hours of our maintenance friend cutting apart our kitchen island to fit an incorrectly sized oven. But by god, if it isn’t the sweetest thing to evenly cook a gorgeous chicken. If it isn’t the sweetest thing to pull perfectly golden cookies out of the oven. If it isn’t just the absolute sweetest thing to cook in that 100+ degree heat without turning the whole apartment into a fire hazard. The oven represents more than that. It represents my perseverance, my will to stand up for myself and my family, and my ability to treasure nice things, in a life so often marked by just getting by.
02 OBJECT (OLD): AN OLD OBJECT THAT TOOK ON NEW/DIFFERENT KIND OF MEANING
A couple of weeks ago, a UPS man left a box of jewels on my door. The box contained broken brooches, forgotten pearls, treasured costume jewelry, and neglected rings. Friends and family collected these beautiful items for a wedding project I’m working on that has taken on enormous significance, symbols of my love and community.
03 UTILITY: DESCRIBE AN OCCASION WHEN YOU FELT USEFUL.
See: oven gladiator.
04 STORY: WHAT’S THE BEST STORY YOU HEARD?
Della and Dan, my lovely neighbors – a true gift to my group of friends in the last year – recently got engaged. Their engagement story isn’t mine to share, but suffice to say there was a beautiful charcuterie board, a song, and a lot of love. I really treasure these moments from my late twenties and early thirties, after years of my friends and I dating duds and flailing to find ourselves, with or without partners. To see my people’s glow reflected off their people… now isn’t that the sweetest thing.
05 NATURE: AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE NATURAL WORLD
I’m an inside kid and the most I’m willing to venture into nature is to see a beautiful body of water and get my hair wet. During our trip to Chicago, Sam and I woke up to a perfect (perfect) 74 degree day with tufts of clouds and took the #6 bus down to my old home, Hyde Park. We sat on the (man-made), bouldery beach, our bums getting wet from the lapping waves. I thought, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”
06 MINOR SECRETS: DESCRIBE SOMETHING YOU DID IN SECRET.
Put all of Sam’s favorite songs on the jukebox at the Aristocrat Lounge. It wasn’t a secret for long.
07 PROPORTION: A SPECIFIC MOMENT THAT REMINDED YOU OF THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE; THAT YOU ARE PART OF A GREATER WHOLE
See: lapping Hyde Park waves.
08 CULTURE: A LIST OF FRONT-BURNER INTERESTS FROM THE LAST MONTH
The book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson.
09 WHAT WAS MISSING LAST MONTH?
A healthy, balanced, budget-friendly, home-cooked diet.