After a few weeks of idle job perusals and fruitless attempts of networking, I took my time away from work and the office and went on a hiatus back to my parents' house in Baltimore for the Christmas holidays. A ten-day hiatus. My older sister and I often liken my parents' house to a being on a cruise liner: there are unlimited amounts of food and cocktails and treats, however, there is nowhere to go and hide, and the other patrons soon grow rather tedious. Nonetheless, given the current professional circumstances, I was truly looking forward to relaxing and spending some time with the people who will always support me and love me most in this world.
While idling perusing for new positions and sending out various networking emails to whomever, I was also spending quite a bit of time with a certain filmmaker, mentioned previously, who provided a very welcome distraction to my distressing situation. Although my childhood home and all the traditions that it and Christmas entail was appealing to me, I was not looking forward to leaving someone who I had grown rather attached to in so short a time, especially for such a lengthy sojourn.
Last year, for the first time since 1638, for the first time in the age of modernity, there was a total lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice; I was set to leave the morning following, for home, cocktails, rich holiday feasts, and too many Christmas cookies to ever be appropriate for my girlish waistline. After presenting me with some hand wrapped gifts, which were a complete surprise and which I promised to not open until Christmas morning, the filmmaker and I decided to at the pinnacle of the eclipse, drive out to a remote location and watch the bright red lunar brilliance. Bundling up a few hours after midnight, we drove to an empty nearby corn field, opened the sun roof of his car, and watched as the moon transformed from static, cold stone to something that pulsed, appeared to have tendons and muscles, and was red with life. I have never seen so many stars in this area, so close to the blinding electric grid of New York City, as I did that night. Orion hung upside down, looming large and low in the black sky, stalking his prey, wooing Merope with his might. Breathing in the cool night air silently, gazing at such a spectacle, I was reminded, as I often am when I contemplate the stars and their power, of my own mortality, of the true insignificance of my petty quotidian worries, of my small role in these greater spheres of matter. I did not fear this realization, rather, took solace within it.
On another more concrete note, when fun funds are low and you are tightening your proverbial high-waisted Italian leather belt, some star gazing with a bottle of wine and a woolen blanket or a warm car with a sun (moon) roof is always an affordable and romantic date option. Lately, especially in this bitterly frigid and unpleasant weather, I have been enjoying some full bodied and bold Australian shiraz; though a wine like that generally deserves a nice hunk of red meat, I am sure it would serve equally well against a luminous moon and some resplendent stars.
(image taken from National Geographic)