August 21, 2011 12:42:00 AM
A beautiful moon hung low over us this week. She waxed into her fullness early in the week, exploding into a fat, illuminated orb. Perhaps she was rehearsing for her harvest persona, the fiery sphere that truly reflects her counterpart, the sun.
Most people see a man in the moon. However, my southwest Louisiana grandfather, Popee, taught us that the image we see is a rabbit cooking a pot of rice. This made a lot of sense to children growing up in an area of vast rice fields. We ate rice at almost every meal.
Last week, I also got a posting from a Facebook friend declaring it as "Mental Health Week." This was rather interesting, since the moon is often associated with insanity.
The moon is blamed for bad behavior of all sorts. From criminals to werewolves, this phase bears responsibility for aggressive actions, and for morphing into canine incarnations. No surprise that this satellite of the Earth has inspired words like lunacy and lunatic.
My Facebook friend may have been a bit affected by the full moon. I researched "Mental Health Week," and found several dates in May and again in October. Nothing in August. Oh, well, perhaps he was just feeling a bit loony.
There is a sort-of-scientific basis for our belief that the moon holds power over our psyches. This heavenly body draws the tides, high and low. The human body, and therefore the human brain, are more than 90 percent water. It is logical to conclude that since the moon can pull huge oceans around the globe, surely our tiny brains could not resist her magnetism.
I love the moon and was greatly dismayed to hear that there are plans to float a giant sheet of Mylar next to her in space. This would be used to project advertising images and slogans onto the screen. Can you imagine looking up see an ad for soft drinks, or cleaning products, staring back at you? Horrors! I beg you, please, Madison Avenue, let this idea go!
Many of us believe that the full moon is magical, a time of transformation when our spirit guides are closer to the Earth. Certainly, it is not a stage for the exhibition of branding and logos. Let Luna admire her reflection in the waters of rivers and lakes. Let our romantics adore her. Allow her to be an inspiration for poets and dreamers. But, please, do not let her become a billboard or tourist destination.
I look forward to the harvest moon, and to the cooler temperatures that accompany her. No matter if you think she is just a dead rock circling the Earth, or the muse of fantasies, or a blob of green cheese. Our moon is beautiful and mysterious. Let''s not allow ad men to deface her with propaganda of any sort (even if the ads include rabbits cooking a pot of rice). After all, we probably will not have a fast forward button for that big Mylar screen.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina. Email reaches her at [email protected]
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.