The Whole of the Moon

I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands

I had flashes, but you saw the plan

I wondered out in the world for years,

but you just stayed in your room

I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon

Lazywiz often asks Aarwen, in wonder, “How do you even know that?” To which Aarwen, who has led what some might say a pretty sheltered life so far, replies smoothly, “I have read it in a book.

The words of this song that I recently heard are stuck in my head.

The words remind me of the Bronte sisters too. From what I have read they were cloistered in their family home, but still, their imagination soared. I do wonder if they had their share of passionate romance and no one knew about it or just like the lyrics of this song, they stayed in their rooms but could pen down Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

Singing is like praying twice…

I use this quote often. Its a variation of an actual Catholic Church quote I believe. But I find it suits any kind of music. Enjoying a song is an intensely personal experience. And while some songs become popular, some eternal, similar to any work of art, the feelings they invoke are within you alone.

So I leave you to determine what you think and what you feel when you hear the lyrics and tune of The Waterboys 1985 hit song “The Whole of Moon”.

If that didn’t do anything for you, here’s another version. This is from the recent Netflix Christmas original movie, “Let It Snow”. Even if I hadn’t seen the movie, from this video alone, I would swoon over a pair of young lovers, unaware of where love leads. I would watch a handsome older boy who seems genuinely uplifted by the duet. And I would long to sing, play and feel like them. Also, it’s set in an empty church, so maybe singing is indeed like praying twice!

While I was obsessing over the song, restarting the video endlessly on Youtube, I got another recommendation. The Whole of The Moon is also used in the series finale of The Affair. I haven’t seen the show, but I watch the video and wonder about the lady who is filming the wedding flash mob dance on her handheld phone. The stage is set near a waterfront and she is blinking back tears. I don’t know the story, but with this song and as people join in the dance, I can write my own story.

When you open your eyes to spot what’s beyond the crescent the whole of the moon is patiently lying there waiting to be discovered. I went to Youtube to find the video of The Affair to post it here and came upon its final scene. A lone old man on a cliff. He dances and the camera sweeps across the landscape with yet another rendition to this song.

I realise that a much younger version of this man and the lady I mentioned above are on the cover of The Affair’s poster. I’ll go watch the show and leave you to these.

video credit uploaders on youtube


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  • Reply
    indrani robbins
    January 29, 2020 at 9:47 am

    i loved the writing. beyond that crescent, yes yes that whole moon awaits. and perhaps to know the world, to travel, to be “unsheltered” in upbringing is a wondrous thing, but to feel the world, the solitude of that shelter may be necessary. interesting you mention the bronte sisters… read them when i was very young, forgotten everything, but early stirrings of romance there. and romance really needs a whole lot of whole moon watching even when it feels like a new moon, not even a half sliver of a crescent visible. now off to hear the song.

    • Reply
      rhea sinha
      March 22, 2020 at 12:24 am

      Indi di I missed replying to such a lovely comment… we have been moon watchers for sure… did you see the videos? What did you think?

      • Reply
        indrani robbins
        March 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm

        i saw the videos. saw them again now. i of course like the 1985 version perhaps the most. i have seen a few seasons of the affair, didn’t like it. hmmm. music is a funny thing, speaks to each one of us in its own way, exactly as you say.

  • Reply
    Lalita Arya
    March 17, 2020 at 6:49 am

    The selection of the various renditions with accompanying snips of videos blew me..away towards the Whole of the Moon. Thanks Rhea for this lovely episode of writing with illustrations. I recall flying in one evening from Toronto into Boston as we cruised over the ocean coming in to land I saw the filigreed waves happily washing ashore and then looked up to see the rising whole of the moon as the sun set. This piece reminded me so much of that exhilarating scene.

    • Reply
      rhea sinha
      March 22, 2020 at 12:20 am

      How beautiful the scene you described must have been! Am so glad you also felt the wonder in the song lyrics and watched all the different videos. I was taken by surprise at how different each one was. Glad I could share with you…

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