Regal Moth

An orange and gray Regal Moth spreads its wings as the sequence of a solar eclipse arches in the sky.

Two years ago, the Moon slid her body between the Sun and the Earth, and her shadow stretched in a long unwavering line across the United States. 

That line of Totality was close, very close, to my home. So I made the trek there, late in the night with my husband and daughter, a futon mattress crammed in the back of our van, pillows piled high, breakfast and lunch stashed in a cooler. 

Such preparations we made for an event that lasted only minutes! But those fleeting minutes carved a mark on my psyche, mysterious and aching. 

It’s happened before, this marking. Once I heard a pack of red wolves deep in the Appalachian forest, their voices high and soaring, mingling with the night, echoing through the forest, weaving into my body. I trembled at the sound. I was changed in some ineffable way.  

Another time my eyes locked with a lone coyote, stepping gracefully through the underbrush by my studio. Just a glimpse into those wild eyes, and a new language etched itself upon me, indecipherable and thrilling.

These moments, fleeting as miracles, with a similar impact, like a wild storm rolling through, blow doors open inside ourselves, and the breath of the Mystery becomes a great wind, rattling the lock of the mind. 

There is more to this life than we can begin to understand.

The eclipse changed me.  It was as if the world was broken into tiny fragments. Holographs. Particles rearranged themselves, like iron filings touched by a magnet. The Sun, blocked by the dark body of the Moon, revealed Himself in a manner otherwise impossible. Shadow and Light became pronounced, defined. 

Purified somehow. 

I can’t even describe the feeling. Language has limits.

We can’t box up the things we don’t have words for. Mysteries tangle inside us, nestling warm with something more. Something  inside each of us, something we want to experience, to know outside of ourselves, a Queen that resides in your heart, a King benevolent, trapped in your skin. 

What eclipse might cause Her to reveal herself? What wild and fleeting moment might release the mind from its prison? 

What are these marks on your psyche, after all? Are they cracks, like an egg hatching, or the stretch marks of the Cosmos, potent within you, calling you to a version of yourself you can’t comprehend?

I’ve come to this peculiar place. I know nothing, and I revel in that. Tell me what science knows. Tell me what you know. Tell me all the things we know, the great books of knowledge, the calculations of masters, the foundations of civilization. 

And I will sigh, yes, ah, it is true.

But it is not everything. It holds only the tiniest cup of knowledge in a cosmic ocean of mystery. 

Will you drink from the cup, or swim in the salty womb of the Earth? 

Surely one is more dangerous than the other. Which is it?

Scroll to Top