Friday, May 08, 2009


Last night the moon appeared to be full again.

We've been having a lot of dust in the air of late, which has played havoc with my upper respiratory system (again, still). But last night there was much less airborne crud (and no, that's certainly NOT a sly and backhanded diss of folks with wings; my friend CPT M recently graduated from that school, and I'm a bit envious, to be honest), and so the full moon was very visible, but within a hazy areola of light.

I've been very aware of the phases of the moon since arriving over here at the new moon in August, perhaps because I wind up in so many places that still practice light discipline at night. So if there's no moon to be seen, it's pretty dark.

Here at Camp Cupcake we seem not to care much about night light, so there's often a lot of it. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! I've lost count of the number of times I've stumbled at night because of the uneven terrain and/or the rocks that pass for 'gravel' when it's been really dark out.

This wouldn't be so bad, except that it seems more often than not that it's my left ankle that bears the brunt of the affront, the same ankle that I damaged during Chaplain Basic Training, and again during the First Army training we did in California in February and March of 2008.

That ankle hurts pretty much constantly these days, but as there's no podiatrist ready-to-hand (or foot, I suppose, in this case), I just make do.

Anyway, the moon was full again last night -- the tenth full moon I've witnessed here in Iraq, and probably the penultimate, if things go as planned. The temperature was warm, but not unpleasant (though I suspect I won't be able to say *that* much longer about being here!), as I walked back to the office after chow. (The meat loaf was OK, but definitely NOT as delicious as Mom's!)

Earlier last evening, I'd found myself in the company of about a half-dozen guys who go to a lot of AA meetings, none of whom seemed particularly crazed at the moment (well, other than me, I suppose). Over the past almost thirty years I have, in fact, often been with recovering alcoholics in large metropolitan areas around the time of the full moon, and quite a number of them have been pretty squirrelly to say the least.

But as I walked back in the bright but diffuse light of that full moon last night, I realized that I've not noticed a large uptick in the general craziness of this or any post during any of the full moons I've seen since I've been here.

Maybe that's because of the general lunacy of the place (or me!) to begin with....

Or maybe not.

Easter blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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