This was it. The week of the solar eclipse, coinciding with the first day of the fall semester for me. I spent much of the hours during the actual event feeling full of static, as if I might literally be fading in and out on the world screen, if there were such a thing. I was one leg in and one leg out of time and space.
In the worlds of tarot, astrology, and such, a solar eclipse is said to be a shift, a time to wipe something clean or take a new direction. Within the Christian tradition, we could liken a solar eclipse to Easter, a time of resurrection and renewal. Certain Navajo Indians believe that the sun dies during an eclipse. In fact, the whole event is sacred for Navajos; they cancel all activities and stay indoors for the entire three-hour duration. I love this tradition, but I was not part of it. Instead, I was one of those clamoring to get a glimpse of the “once in a lifetime” event, which seems typical of us non-native Americans, doesn’t it?
But boy, it was pretty cool, I have to say. I took my students outside with my homemade eclipse viewer in hopes of catching a glimpse of something, anything resembling an eclipse. I, sheepish and nervous; they, blind sheep, following me out to a possible slaughter. At least, this was the look some of them had in their eyes.
Given that my homemade view box seemed faulty, I could have been caught looking completely idiotic. When alas, a fellow coworker came out with his solar eclipse eye glasses, still encased in plastic. I was saved, and we all got to experience the “once in a lifetime” phenomenon.
For some reason, that same afternoon or evening, I came across a Facebook post from an old friend/boyfriend. Why he had even connected with me on Facebook, I was never quite clear. Other than, he must have a different memory of our history than I do. Then again, don’t you have those people who experienced your relationship like they were on the sun, and you, the moon? Like you lived for years in separate rooms, even when together?
The retelling of our lengthy shared history would be interesting, I imagine, a lot like the movie, He Said/She Said, which is an old nineties film, half of which is told from the perspective of a woman and the other half from her ex-boyfriend. As you can imagine, it’s pure comic genius, as the stories unfold entirely differently.
So, on the day of the eclipse, I decided to unfriend this person whom I thought I had unfriended years ago. After all, why should we allow someone to loiter in our cyber space when we technically broke up with them (friend or flame) for a reason. Relationships end, and that’s absolutely OK.
Despite the passage of so much time and the fact that I am in a marriage with a man I love dearly, it felt like I was wiping this person clean from me, once again. Like I was saying, “No, you don’t get to live in my little pond and feed off the algae, little fish. Swim along. You were a good fish, for a while, but my tank can no longer hold you.”
My tank, in fact, can hold far fewer fish than ever these days.
Whether or not the timing of my Facebook cleansing was due to the eclipse, I feel renewed and empowered, and I am remembering how many things in life I still do, at age 44, that I don’t want to do. I am remembering how many people I do not care for that I still let linger in my universe, even if it’s just in cyber space. All of these little things we do chip away at our strength, at our self-worth, and even at the good relationships we have.
Any bit of psychic energy that the old flame was getting from me when I “scrolled into” his family photos and status updates was valuable energy that I need to sustain life on my planet. It was valuable attention that could have been put toward a much better cause.
Perhaps the moon needed to come closer, so I could see her a little better. So she could come between me and those things that blind me. “Rub away that damn spot,” she said. Scrub a dub dub.