Last night I watched the blue blood moon eclipse, watched her hang poised amid the disarray of stars that shone like plankton. The grandeur of nature always gives you that shrinking feeling, makes you look forward and backward at once, makes the object of your contemplation revolve and show forth its multiple facades.


It’s not the moon alone, it’s something else, something unfathomable, something that opens a door inside of you and makes you aware that there is a roof to your being. Staring at the benign and radiant expression of the moon I had a sudden ache. The kind that comes unannounced and makes a home inside of you. The feeling echoed, like a voice traveling through a valley in solitude. Never had I felt such self-possession as this.

The feeling was met, almost immediately, with one of dismay. What did I sacrifice for this self-possession? Whom did I abandon in order to maintain my beloved freedom? And have I become so obsessed with the “I” that I no longer know how to consummate the “We.” Questions that hung suspended in front of me like the eclipsed moon, equally as foreboding as they were alluring.

There have been times when I have rejoiced in having no possessions, free of all ties, so free I could pass through cities, through countries, pass from reality into a dream, owning nothing, regretting nothing, wishing nothing. I spent this time building a home inside myself, gathering splinters on my palms and weaving the right tapestries for the walls.

Perhaps it was the metaphysical weight of this night, the gravitational pull of this super moon, which unravelled those tapestries and sent a tidal wave through those walls, marking the beginning of a new phase; one in which I start to move towards, instead of away from the enormous absence of form that is love.

In my awareness, there are two kinds of possession. The first kind is one that abides by the romantic contracts that I have made and broken many times before. It is the kind of consummation of the “we” that lays ownership over the “I,” and it is this specific type of possession in love that I have spent years undoing.

I endured a kind of pilgrimage towards the second type, self-possession, not knowing that it carried almost the same poison as the first when taken in high doses. In this precise moment, exposed beneath the scarlet light of a blood moon, I began the process of sucking that poison out. To make room for a love that is born of a ruthless self-possession that I was not grown up enough to know how use until now.

Last night I looked out over an unknown landscape, over the billions of stars and that harrowing moon, not wanting to understand it, not needing to analyse it. Observing the self with such blissful desertion as this, I realised that I belong neither to myself, nor another, and that love is not something I should be afraid to give because nothing is being taken.


Words & Photography Shannon May Powell