WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of July 2019

“The Full Moon on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at 24 degrees Capricorn is a partial lunar eclipse. The lunar eclipse July 2019 astrology is powerful and confrontational because of close conjunction to Pluto. Intense emotional reactions, compulsive behavior, and power struggles are likely to result in a crisis. Lunar eclipse July 2019 is also square the dwarf planet Eris which will reenergize the #MeToo Movement. It will strengthen the feminist attack on the patriarchal authority. Other planetary aspects and fixed stars point to scandal, intrigue, public disgrace, and destroyed reputations. But they also give hope that empathy and understanding will lead to lasting changes.”
https://astrologyking.com/lunar-eclipse-july-2019/

featuring Models: Piper Meyers, my Capricorn and Lehla Owens, my Aries from the Personal Universe series, 2018
16 July 2019 during the Full Buck July Moon, a Partial Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn and a Cardinal Grand Cross: Cardinal Fire represented by Lehla as Aries, Cardinal Water represented by the Sun in Cancer, Cardinal Air represented by the Photographer as Libra, and Cardinal Earth represented by Piper as Capricorn
The July Full Moon is known as the Buck Moon, because, “the Algonquin tribes in what is now the Eastern USA called this full Moon the Buck Moon. Early Summer is normally when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. They also called this the Thunder Moon because of early Summer’s frequent thunderstorms.”  https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/995/july-2019-the-next-full-moon-is-the-buck-moon/
Here we used braids to represent the antlers for the Full Moon.
Photographed by Michelle Gemma
Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, CT  USA

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“Back To The Old House”

 


“I would love to go
back to the old house
but I never will
I never will
I never will
I never will”

Excerpt from the song, “Back To The Old House” is by The Smiths and appears on the compilation album Hatful of Hollow (1984) and on the compilation album Louder Than Bombs (1987).

featuring Model: Caroline Longo
The New Moon of June
3 June 2019
Chez Elle, Mystic, CT, USA

 

WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of May 2019

Just when the thought occurs

The panic will pass

And the smell of the fields

Never lasts

Put your faith

In those crimson nights

Set sail

In those turquoise days

 

excerpt from “Turquoise Days”, Echo and the Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here, 1981.

“In 1981, music magazine the NME described the album as darker and more passionate than 1980’s Crocodiles. The Record Mirror also said that the band sang the blues and devoted themselves to existential sadness. They went on to note that the album offered ‘an anatomy of melancholy, resplendent with the glamour of doom’ ”

featuring Model: Lena Curland
The Full Flower Moon of May
18 May 2019
Stonington Borough, CT  USA

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“I Won’t Share You”

“I won’t share you
I won’t share you
With the drive
The ambition
And the zeal I feel
This is my time
As the note I wrote
Was read, she said
Has the Perrier gone
Straight to my head
Or is life plainly sick and cruel, instead?
“YES!”
No – no – no – no – no – no
I won’t share you
I won’t share you
With the drive
And the dreams inside
This is my time
Life tends to come and go
Well, that’s OK
Just as long as you know
Life tends to come and go
Well, that’s OK
Just as long as you know
I won’t share you
I won’t share you
With the drive
And the dreams inside
This is my time
This is my time”

featuring Model: Morgan Vail
Branford House, Avery Point, Connecticut
shot on Ilford Delta 400 Pro 35 mm film with Minolta x700 camera
lyrics for “I Won’t Share You” by The Smiths, from “Strangeways, Here We Come” (1987)
inspired by the news report from Rolling Stone Magazine, 12 May 2019, that Morrissey had performed “I Won’t Share You” for the first time ever, because “the group broke up before they had a chance to tour it…”
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/morrissey-i-wont-share-you-broadway-834482/

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International Dylan Thomas Day 14 May 2019


An international day to celebrate the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, held each year on 14th May, the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953.
“International Dylan Thomas Day gives us a chance each year to celebrate Dylan Thomas’s achievements. There is still the enthusiasm for a national day to mark my grandfather’s life and legacy and we want to keep May 14th as a prominent date on the literary calendar.
Dylan Thomas’s writing has travelled through time – it is as relevant today in our troubled times as when it was written sixty-five years ago. It continues to travel across the globe reaching new audiences everyday. His poetry lives on.
We invite you to tell us about how you are going to mark the day and encourage you, wholeheartedly, to get involved and to love the words.” — Hannah Ellis, Granddaughter of Dylan Thomas
https://www.discoverdylanthomas.com/news-events/international-dylan-thomas-day

The photographer Rollie McKenna was at this 92Y reading of Under Milk Wood, to photograph Dylan Thomas, and she writes this in her autobiography, Rollie McKenna: A Life in Photography (Knopf, 1991),
“Dylan Thomas’s career didn’t truly take off until he ‘hit’ the United States. Readings at the Poetry Center and tours throughout the country where–in his own words–he ‘boomed and fiddled while home was burning,’ all but devoured him. The money he made, so necessary to support his family, passed through his fingers like water. The praise, so addictive, was fleeting. Still, he wanted to read again to his vastly appreciative American audiences and, above all, to write the final ending to his play for voices, Under Milk Wood
Frenetic reading tours, sycophant-laden parties and late-night bar-hopping exhausted him, and just an hour before rehearsing the actors for the first New York performance of Under Milk Wood, Dylan was in particularly bad shape.  On arriving at the Poetry Center, he vomited, declared that he could not possibly go on and collapsed in the green room. After half an hour, he was shaken awake.  Pulling himself together, he directed for an astonishing three hours, urging the actors over and over:  ‘Love the words.  Love the words!’  I was so dumbfounded by his recovery that I almost forgot to shoot.
When the night of May 14, 1953, arrived, the theater was packed.  The audience, silent at first, then tittering, finally exploded into laughter on realizing that this was no highbrow affair but a loving, ribald tribute to a village.  Dylan took fifteen curtain calls as tears slipped down his face.”
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/17/books/pictures-from-a-life.html

In celebration:
featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle

WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of April 2019

For Ezra Pound:

“April is the cruellest month, breeding


Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing


Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering


Earth in forgetful snow, feeding


A little life with dried tubers.”

excerpt from:  The Waste Land by  T. S. ELIOT

featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle
The Full Pink Moon of April:
19 April 2019
Noank, CT  USA

 

 

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New Moon in April and a Heart Shaped Box

New Moon 5 April 2019
introducing my newest Model: Ella Turner
and featuring the poem Dreamland by Royal Young with Photographs by Michelle Gemma

I want to enjoy the sunrise
While we still have them
Your quiet little town
Won’t be safe much longer

A stolen heart is never truly
Yours
A boot to get what you want

Imperfection is beauty
Torrid
Tortured
Terrible glances like lances

Give me open terrain
If I could climb this fire escape
To the future I would

My soul is following
The train’s whistle
My body lays next to
A sleeping dog

The dog dreams
Shivers in sleep
We’re both running
Still

 

https://www.instagram.com/theroyalyoung/

 

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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of March 2019

In 2019, the full Moon of March rises on the same day as the vernal equinox—marking the start of spring!


March also brings the final supermoon of 2019.


The March full Moon is particularly special because it reaches its peak on the same day as the spring equinox, on March 20, 2019. The last time the full Moon and the spring equinox coincided this closely (4 hours apart) was in March 2000, but the last time they occurred on the same date was on March 20, 1981!


Traditionally, the Moon we see in March is called the Full Worm Moon. At this time of the year, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting robins and birds to feed—a true sign of spring. Roots start to push their way up through the soil, and the Earth experiences a re-birth as it awakens from its winter slumber.

This full Moon is also a supermoon, meaning the Moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for the month of March. It’s the year’s third (and final) of three straight full supermoons. This means that the Moon may “appear” brighter and bigger than normal, provided the night sky is clear and dark.

 

 

https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox

featuring Model: Alycia de los Santos
The Full Worm Moon of March:
20 March 2019
Seaside, Waterford, CT  USA

 

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The Bell Jar

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and
I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. I’m stupid about executions. The idea of
being electrocuted makes me sick, and that’s all there was to read about in the papers —
goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me on every street corner and at the fusty, peanutsmelling mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn’t help
wondering what it would be like, being burned alive all along your nerves.
I thought it must be the worst thing in the world.

—excerpt from the Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, first published in January 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas and later released posthumously under her real name.

featuring Model: Jane Anderson
Photograph by Michelle Gemma

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Living in Sin

Recently, writer Royal Young suffered the loss of his grandfather, Zayde.  As he writes in Fameshark,  his memoir noir (Heliotrope Books 2013), “My maternal grandparents Babbi and Zayde supported everything that had to do with the arts. Their three-story house in Great Neck, Long Island was crammed with Zayde’s impressionist paintings and Babbis’ sculptures.”  Royal called it “Jewish Grey Gardens”, and everything about this picture was in direct contrast to my own maternal grandparents.

This month marks the tenth anniversary of my grandfather’s death, and I feel nothing, really.  We were not close since twenty years prior, though close is a stretch to define our relationship even at all.  Anthony Beaudry, my aloof French-Canadian grandfather: he smoked cigars incessantly, my father hated cigars. Whenever my grandparents came down from Worcester, Massachusetts, to visit us at my childhood home in Noank, Connecticut, Anthony was forced outside to smoke his smelly cigars. Yet the house reeked all weekend and even after they left. My other three grandparents, Anthony’s wife Louise Caputo, my paternal grandmother, Helen Pelosi, and my namesake paternal grandfather Rocco Gemma, all radiated an Italian warmth, or at least parlayed easy company.

I left the United States on January 4, 1989 to study abroad for my last college semester, meaning I would graduate while in Grenoble, France, and I had no intention of returning home for an anonymous graduation at UCONN.  Plus, my parents’ divorce was finalized on August 17, 1989, a process that started in the spring of 1987 when my sister was just about to graduate from high school.  Time was up, and my mom made the announcement, as soon as I got settled in my first dorm room, fourth semester, up at UCONN Storrs. I had just moved out of the house in Noank, after living at home for my first three semesters at UCONN Avery Point.

My sister had started college in the fall of 1987 at URI, and seeking sisterly solace would drive Route 138 West over to UCONN most every weekend, not wanting to go home to Noank.  My parents had separated, but due to each of them not wanting to grant the space to the other, they were still living at the same address: my childhood home, a raised split-level ranch, where my mom lived in the upstairs, and my dad lived in the downstairs- a situation that was not fun for anyone. It took another year before my mom moved out, in the fall of 1988.

I was ready to move off campus as well, three semesters of dorm living were three too many for me. In the same fall of 1988  that my mom moved to a temporary place in her hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts, I moved into a modest Colonial  brick house with four other roommates that I had casually met in the last year, three boys from Fairfield County and the sweetest hippie girl from Norwich.  My sister Maria continued to visit me at UCONN, arriving at the brick house most every weekend. When I left for France in January 1989 for my eighth and final college semester, Maria transferred from URI to Northeastern in Boston, and looked up one of my former brick house roommates, who had already transferred to UMASS Boston.  She moved in with him, as a familiar counterpart. During the year that I was abroad, their friendship deepened from the platonic to the romantic.  When I returned at the end of 1989, it was official that they were an item.

The first family function in Worcester that spring of 1990 was a cousin’s school graduation, and my sister and her boyfriend planned on driving down from Boston to attend.  My maternal grandfather, Anthony Beaudry, announced that he would boycott the family event, if Maria and her boyfriend made an appearance.  They were living in sin, according to my grandfather.  I remember being shocked that he was actually taking a stand on this distinction. He had, heretofore, never crystallized an official definition of his Catholicism. I felt that I was already growing apart from the totality of family gatherings in Worcester, having been raised in Noank since I was five, and I was at that point, barely attending the annual Christmas Eve dinners. My parents’ divorce had far-flung all previously engaged in rituals, so it was basically a free-for-all for my sister and I.  We were already feeling the guilt trip that each parent passively placed on us to divide our time evenly, while visiting each side of the family in Worcester for Christmas Eve: the only relief was that at least the host of each family gathering was conveniently located just a few miles apart from each other.   We tried to make it a party and have fun ourselves, but there was never a moment that we didn’t feel some guilt, if we had inadvertently let the moment escape at one house, we knew that disappointment would follow at the next stop.

But, my grandfather’s stand clearly required a response. I wrote him a letter, urging him to reconsider his position; that times had changed, and modern relationships were strengthened with cohabitation. That as a couple had the chance to live with one another,  they could discover if their relationship would survive in the long run.  As children of divorce, we most wanted to not get divorced.  We watched our grandparents,  in what we interpreted as loveless marriages: separate bedrooms, which seemed frightening, and  each grandfather barking orders to each grandmother, who waited on him “hand and foot”, because… he… worked…all… day. Then we watched our parents get divorced. This is not what we wanted.

Anthony Beaudry would not budge, in typical stubborn stance. He wrote back to me, claiming ownership to his religious principles, which forced him to be inflexible in his points of view. I was disappointed, and other relatives intervened on my sister’s behalf, and life moved on.  In the summer of 1990, I was not only back from Europe, I was back from an ill-fated trip out west in the US which resulted in a ski-trip accident in Vail, Colorado, and then knee surgery and physical therapy back east. I started a relationship back in Mystic, with an old friend from junior high school. As late summer faded into the autumn, I was ready to get my own place in Mystic, and found a lovely apartment located within the glory of a local mansion, run by my friend Courtney’s family. My boyfriend Rich moved in with me that October 1st, just two short months after we started dating. I was now living in sin.

As my sister and I were the two oldest cousins out of the eleven that comprised my mom’s side of the family, we were the first to experience the many rites of passage throughout our childhood. It makes sense that we would be the first to break ground in the family with boyfriends and living arrangements. As Grandpa Beaudry aged, it seemed to matter less to him, when my younger cousins experienced the exact same milestones, and they moved in with their significant others. My mother was always bitter about this. As well, my grandfather had tried to convince my mom against getting a divorce, on religious grounds, but he lost that argument.  He, however, in a finely tuned maneuver,   never acknowledged my mom’s new partner that she was living with in Mystic. My mom visited her parents solo from 1992 until her parents’ death in 2009, just ten months apart from each other: January 3rd and October 3rd, 2009.

I could never grasp religion with my grandfather’s type of dissociative fervor. In my childhood, I resented being brought to church weekly, and worse, being forced to attend “Sunday School” at the local high school, adjacent to my church, which was across from the town police station. I could not buy the basic premise of Catholicism, that the Pope was infallible. Noone was infallible. It did not make sense to me. I dreaded church and stopped going just after my confirmation.  I understand the structure that religion provides for the ceremonies of life- baptism and marriage, and for the ceremony of death.

Placing judgment on life itself:   to define “living in sin” did not have merit to me. The years passed quietly from 1989 to 2009 for me in my relationship with my grandfather. I was polite, dutiful in the sense, that I would not embarrass my mother. I even conceded a visit to him in the nursing home, when all that was keeping him alive was a feeding tube. His mind was gone, and his body followed on the third of January, 2009.

 

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