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Winter Moon
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Maybe it is the shock of the cold when I drag the trash down to the road before dawn in the winter that makes me start thinking too hard.

This past Thursday I was listening to the lonely crunch of my shoes against frozen snow and gravel as I made my way through the darkness between widely spaced orange lamps on the utility poles. A big, low coppery moon hung at my shoulder.

In the silence and breathtaking chill I began to imagine I could feel the moon's presence. It was no longer just an illusion painted on the sky, or a reflection of light against my retina, or a chemical reaction in my mind, translated into an insubstantial sensation, but rather an actual monstrous world at an immense distance.

The quarter million miles of cold-as-death space stretched out between myself and that great ball of rock seemed almost palpable. I'm sure I couldn't truly feel the reality of such vastness. Can we really grasp any distance much beyond our grasp?

Maybe I was trying to grapple with that mysterious, elusive otherness that so discomfited Sartre and Lovecraft. Maybe I was half asleep. I should have contented myself with putting the Hefty bag down at the roadside. Any words I try to wrap around the moon won't draw it down to earth. It will still be up there in the sky when both my words and I are gone. And unless the truck's late the trash will be gone too.

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