The surreal life and the lunar eclipse

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Just as the last sliver of what we call moonlight and what is actually reflected sunlight flashed silver in the deep black background of space, Carson asked me a philosophical question.

I told him that moon watching makes me philosophical too.

Carson is a scientist in a 9-year-old’s body. And as a journalist, I have a curiosity streak like nothing else. Whenever you find an odd or rare occurrence in the cosmos, it’s likely the little man and I are outside with our eyes gazing up at the heavens.

When the moon was in a full eclipse, we danced a little pagan dance, whatever that is, and we reveled in the shadowy darkness completely enthralled by this element of space and time.

“Dad, it must be really difficult being God.” he said.

“Really, why do you think that?”

“Because He has to answer all these prayers and help people and take care of things like this,” he said, pointing to the orangy moon hiding in earth’s shadow.

We talked a little about how people perceive God as a person with the same limitations that we understand and the possibility that God doesn’t exist in the same time and space that we occupy.

Carson is a big idea kid, and when he hits on something that brings understanding, he is quick to move beyond whatever was hanging him up.

We stared at the moon for another 10 minutes and called it a night.

And then it hit me again as it has several times over the last few weeks, this surreal life.

I’m watching a lunar eclipse in the backyard of my home in Anchorage, Alaska.

What about this makes sense?

What if we hit the rewind button?

Four hours earlier, my wife pulled into our driveway where a rather large moose was eating God-knows-what off the trees in our front yard.

Three-days ago I was dancing salsa at a company Christmas party.

One-and-half-months-ago I took a job as digital director at a broadcast station in Anchorage, Alaska.

Two-months-ago we moved out of the first home we purchased in Missoula, Montana.

Three-months-ago I got laid off from my job at a small newspaper in Missoula, Montana.

This has been a surreal year.

There are these moments in your life where you try to pull it all together to create a framework for your life. But the corners don’t come together neatly.

There are times when you look out on some astrological entity like a lunar eclipse and think, where am I?

It’s the philosophical question, but in my case, it has physical implications. Where am I standing?

In ankle-deep crystalline snow in the backyard of a house I just moved into with a chunk of fence missing where a big, bull moose jumped over and broke a couple boards with his massive belly last week.

Where am I standing now?

In the backyard of our house in ankle-deep crystalline snow on a crisp December night in Anchorage, Alaska.

It doesn’t make sense, no matter how many times I say it out loud to myself.

But it’s real. As real as the cold air that chokes me up like the first puff of a cigarette when you don’t smoke. As real as the way your breath curls up into the still, frozen air like smoke with no wind.

And I think to myself, “It must be really difficult being God…”

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