Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Night Frolic — Building Roads Beneath the Full Moon


What she'd like to do is sit down in her little striped beach chair, late, late afternoon by berylline ocean waters and watch pools of frothy tide swish to and fro the shore, as it happens, until the amber sun fades into the sea's violaceous horizon, and the sky illuminates with the shimmery light of this Friday's milky floret of a moon.

The full moon calls.

But that scene is an hour away, and driving is still somewhat restricted (perils of pain medication), so she is here at home, late afternoon, trying to forge a Frolic, feeling anxious and overwhelmed and wanting to be by the beach. She's not happy.

The large framed second story east facing window will have to do. From there, she can almost pluck a low moon from the dark sky.

And then she reads this, from Jan Spiller (whom she's never consulted):
There is an opportunity for insight and progress inherent in the FULL MOON. People often react emotionally during the days of the Full Moon due to a feeling of helplessness.  They become aware of the distance between the way they want their life to be, and the way it currently is.  Often, when they see this gap, they become upset.
Haha, she says, laughing like a madwoman. It's not my ailments, it's the moon!

She pulls the liner notes from Building a Road by Spottiswoode and His Enemies and sips on her damn green tea. There will be no wine tonight. But there will be the full moon. (Unless she fails to finish this Frolic.)

There are no liner notes, really, just perfunctory thank yous and  lists of Special Friends and Archenemies, and one Bete Noire. She cannot imagine that Spottiswoode, the frontman, guitarist and harp player for his rock and soul and cabaret avant garde  band—who reminds her of a young Leonard Cohen (with whom she has frolicked) and Harry Nilsson (with whom she'd like to frolic, lime in de coconut and all)—would have adversaries.

Yet Spottiswoode is drawn to the dark, where foes lurk.

And it is under Stygian skies that she finds a few specters Building a Road:

(She is frustrated that she does not know how to build an MP3 sample.)

And others, far from the Road, at play, building scenes like this:

And this:

And then she flips through the Farmers' Almanac to find that today is the beginning of some of the best days of the year:
According to Farmers' Almanac tradition, when the moon is in the appropriate phase and place in the zodiac, it's widely believed that activities will be more fruitful or lead to improved results. The period between the new and full moon (first and second quarters) is considered as the best time to perform tasks that require strength, fertility and growth...
Who knew! Perhaps it's not all bad, she thinks. Surely there's something that can be done here in the burbs. Ah, a tall iced tea, chilled cherries, the setting sun from the west facing dappled deck accompanied by Spottiswoode. And a stroll down the street. That'll do. Who knows where it may lead...

(Maybe she'll find more goblins along the road. Maybe she will conquer some demons.)

* * * 
You can find Spottiswoode's whole show, starting with scene 1, Live @ Joe's Pub in New York City here.

His latest album is Wild Goosechase Expedition, about the doomed course of a touring rock band. The second track is Beautiful Monday:

Beautiful music.


  1. The TV was tuned to My Name is Earl when I read this the first time. It was an episode where all the characters were acting out out stories they had written themselves, in true, over-theatrical, exceedingly dramatic fashion, and as a result, thet's exactly how I read your post tonight. How terrifying! (Head swayed sideways, back of the hand to the forehead.)

  2. The moon has been on my mind too of late, although for different reasons.

    If the goal is too far to reach, aim lower.;)

  3. Sitting down in a beach chair, with a good book, is nice. My vacation is just a week away, and I hope we get some days of warm weather, beach weather >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  4. Nessa- I swear I never studied drama. But I did play Julius Caesar in the 5th grade. ;)

  5. Antares- But how high the moon! Perhaps I should reconsider... ;)

  6. Cold- My vacation is a week away, too--when my kids are in camp! Enjoy your holiday. Even in warm weather, you must have some chilly waters over there, eh? Refreshing!

  7. boy, that jan spiller quote is spot on for this full moon...i've been afeelin' that all day...and yesterday. in fact i think my eyes opened wide in that unexpected recognition type thing when i read it.

    diggin' the new purty profile pic too, looking good, girlie. :)

  8. I love your Friday Night Frolics - you always introduce me to new things. I agree with id - the Jan Spiller quote seemed almost painfully accurate.

    A tall iced tea and cherries sounds good to me, but I hope you get time on the beach as well.

  9. Wow Ms. Jayne! Minus the pain killers I think we are in the same boat or wanna-be boat. :)

    Here's to the moon phase.
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  10. Id- I felt the same way... a new cycle and opportunities, though. All very positive!

    Oh, the dreaded profile photo! Can never find one I like. But the moon forced me to put up a new one. ;)

  11. Id- I think we can all glean different meanings from it, even if painful, it reminds us of the importance of introspection, and moving forward...

    So glad you enjoy the Frolics. :-)

  12. Jules- Yes, to the moon phase! Don't forget to howl--and laugh. Makes it all so much better. ;)

  13. Our Texas moon was full and golden. I love the blue sea :)

  14. The liner notes, "...the jagged path to redemption," this is the road under construction I understand, and any path to illumination, clarity by some definition. Maybe it has been the moon, not a cold, that had me adrift, feeling separated from myself. I need to keep an entire notebook dedicated to the music I discover through you. xo

  15. Carol- I'll bet your blue sea is quite stunning, there. Enjoy the weekend!

  16. Ah, Marylinn, you followed the link. The CD, itself, does not include much in the way of liner notes, but if you read the songs' lyrics (which are included) you'll understand the road.

    It might be the moon, my friend, but it's on your side now. And I know I'll be seeing its glow through you. ;)

  17. "It's not my ailments, it's the moon!"

    Or as Shakespeare put it in Julius Caesar: "The fault is not in us, dear Brutus, but in our starts."

  18. Jayne, I love your words, your wanderings, and your choice of music. What a fabulous frolic, Friday night or not. The moon does things to writers (whether or not we answer it). It’s there and this post was brilliant.

  19. me for the first time here...
    just stopped by...

  20. You know, you keep writing these posts about drug-filtered zoning in and out -- bejeweled posts, which have all these little flourishes (milky floret of a moon! drawn to the dark, where foes lurk! et al.) which make me, for one, wonder if I should start popping pills before firing up the bloggish dashboard.

    I'll even forgive you for bringing in that berylline so closely on the heels of last week's hyaline. :)

    Over the years, The Missus has often told me of the full moon's wacky effects on her (mood changes, sleep disturbances, and, uh, appetite triggerings). There are many fine things to be said about women, and I'm happy to say -- and mean -- them, but this whole full-moon thing is close to the top of reasons why I'm glad not to be one. It would drive me CRAZY.

    Thank you for introducing me to Spottiswoode (which led me, down the linkish rabbit hole, to Bronwen Exter -- so thanks for her, too).

    Regarding enemies, I came across a great poem the other day, "Love Poem for an Enemy." (Haha.)

    Have you ever had someone you regarded as an enemy -- not in the passive sense of just really not liking them but actively, like imagining yourself sabotaging them in some way?

  21. Jayne, your blog posts are simply wonderful--your musings on the moon are rapturous and wry and completely delightful--thank you for the long post on Luna/Selene.

    Your music forays are fabulous. I'm way, way behind--you're too speedy for me--I need more time than Friday to Friday to fully appreciate your Frolics.

    Thank you for this rich, full, overbrimming blog. It's a joy.

  22. What a fabulous frolic... It seems I need to get myself out more :)

  23. I've never thought about the moon like that. It always makes me excited, full of energy, and bold. Even when I can't see it I feel its presence, it seems. But what a coincidence to find that quote while feeling that way.

    And thanks for introducing Spottiswoode! LOVED it. Perfectly playful. Wish I had watched it during the full moon.

    The weekend is over, have a beautiful Monday Jayne!

  24. I'm pumped to hear there is hope after the full moon. I need the hope to get going on a project. We didn't get to see it - clouds, but its brightness still showered the path to the dock with light.

  25. Snowbrush- Or is it: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves..." I was once Julius Caesar in a school play. Tragic. ;)

    (But I understand what you meant--it's our own weaknesses, all right.)

  26. Light208- So sorry! Just realized I addressed you as Id (the second "Id" response), but my comment there was meant for you. I'll blame it on the pain killers if you don't mind. ;)

  27. Leah, my dear friend, so sweet of you to say. I agree whole heartedly--we are no doubt affected by the great Moon, and the way the Earth revolves around the Sun, while the Moon orbits the Earth. Maybe it's the Moon's pull of gravity from the Sun... maybe it's our tilted axis. Who knows!

    But something odd occurs when the Moon is full. And when I have more time I just may read up on this some more. (Ugh, right, yeah.) How I would love to be enlightened. ;)

  28. deeps- Thanks, much, for stopping by. :)

  29. JES- Oh no--I'd never recommend writing under the influence--unless you are Edgar Allan Poe. (Or was it his characters who were under the influence?) I wouldn't want to inadvertently advocate drinking/drugging and writing. Although it's a better alternative to d/d and driving.

    Rereading this post made me cringe--having, with misty head, neglected to include a few things--for instance, more on Spottiswoode's clever website. Post publication, I edited ever so lightly.

    Bronwen Exter is a great find. I like how Mr. S. promotes her at this page, and so glad you enjoyed both of them.

    Love Poem for an Enemy is my kind of poem. It's delightful in its candor, enjambments, and rhyme without being too sing-songy. Thank you for sharing that.

    So... Lucky for you to have some kind of immunity to the moon's full glow. (I'm not sure I believe it, though... I don't think it's particular to women;)) And even though you will not admit the full moon's effect on you, I'll own up to, YES, actually having had someone I regarded as an enemy--a real Bete Noir--imagining the sabotage and all. Awful thoughts. But as I've matured (as I ever so often try to do), I've let that go. Hatred is toxic. 'Tis better to try to understand the foe. Particularly if the foe may be a relation.

    (You're a devil.) ;)

  30. Vespersparrow- I am thrilled that you enjoyed this (and others) Frolic. I so appreciate your very kind, and always poetic, comments.

    You know that I am utterly taken with your poetry (you inspire!), so I am humbled by your generosity.

    I hope all is well by the marsh!

  31. SDB- It's good to see you again! Glad you got out. ;)

  32. Lin Ann, my friend, now aren't you always bold? Creative juices constantly flowing...

    Let's listen to Spottiswoode upon the next full moon, and we can howl together. ;)

  33. MJ- There will be others... but in the meantime, there you go... hope your way. ;)

  34. Jayne said: "Snowbrush- Or is it: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves..."

    As soon as I don't look something up, I find that someone knows how it goes better than I do! I have a good excuse, though; I am old and pathetic.

  35. Hahahaha... sorry, I couldn't resist asking the question (and I'm very impressed that you swallowed hard and proceeded to answer it).

    At least it was vaguely relevant to this post, ha.

    When we were in New Orleans back in June, I had my first -- my first several, actually -- Sazeracs: cocktails made with (among other things) absinthe. I felt very Poe-like, lacking only laudanum (and a sickly, ethereal cousin for whom I'd pined my whole life) to make the experience complete. :)

  36. Very interesting, A great book
    start from a journal perhaps.
    Easy going yet intellectual tone.

  37. You had me at "milky floret of a moon."
    What an awesome post.

  38. Snowbrush- Far from it! You're sharp as a tack--I'm sure of that. ;)

  39. JES- I would think if you're having a Sazerac you would want to leave the really hard stuff at home (and the young cousin, as well).

    The last time I was in NOLA was over a dozen years ago and I was pregnant with my daughter, so I didn't imbibe. And because I had weird seafood aversions at the time some of the food I crave, that I so badly wanted to feast on down there, I was unable to eat. I did manage to down a few BBQ shrimp, though.

    Needless to say, I'm due another trip, for the food alone! (My husband was there twice last year but, unfortunately, I could't manage to join him.) And a stab at the Sazerac, which I think I'd like, since I love the flavor of anise.

    Oh, now you've got me really pining after that city....

  40. Cynthia- Thank you, and glad you stopped by!

  41. Lydia- :-) (I'm still recovering from your post this past Monday!)

  42. Spottiswoode -- thanks for introducing me to an artist I was previously unfamiliar with. No longer the case!

  43. The damn green tea. I'm drinking it as I type this actually, with lots of ice. It's so hot that wine doesn't even sound good right now, except for maybe a nice sauvignon blanc. More likely though, I'll be chasing down a frosty beer at a nice air-conditioned bar.

  44. I detect a penchant for semi-precious stones and moody men when the moon is full.

    Ours came up over the ocean here, huge and cantaloupe orange. It back-lit some smallish, fluffy clouds to create a scene you'd swear had been digitally generated. Wish you'd been here to add to the ambiance.

  45. The full moon has a profound effect on my life. I can take out the garbage at night without having to have to turn on the porch light.