Sun and Moon Story

 A story  I wrote in high school… enjoy!

            At that particular moment, in the vast abyssal universe, the sun and the moon were watching. For the first time, they were really watching. They were there, calm and contemplating, sitting on the haunches of the universe. And in this moment the earth floated there like a ball of blue marble streaked in greens, browns, and yellows. It had looked this way for a long time, and the sun and the moon had accepted it as an object of wild change, the dwelling of capricious life. They passed much of their time discussing the whims of mortals and their perplexingly fleeting lives. Yet, it seemed impossible for the sun and the moon to breach the gap of eternity. Though they were in essence the conscience of the universe, they could not comprehend what it meant to be subject to the changing of the wind, the yellowing of the leaves, the movement of the seas; the daily markers that reprimanded  humans for thinking they could defeat relentless time. No, the sun and the moon could not understand this.

            “Why is she doing that?” asked the moon pointing to a girl picking up a flower petal. The girl was fingering a brown piece of what had been a vivid red flower. She was crying and great soggy drops turned the petal to great soggy mush.

“Well, I don’t really know myself. She’s foolish to leave those flowers in the vase. They’re not coming back to life,” replied the sun.

“Is she crying for the flower? Why do humans hold on to things like that?”

“No, I think it reminds her of something. Of someone. I don’t think it’s the flower’s death that makes her sad, it’s what the flower means.”

“Such significance in such triviality! That’s what makes them human doesn’t it? They never get to see the bigger image.”

“You’re right. You’re right. But, they do see the small image. And we don’t see that too often. Say, what about that boy?”

“The one drawing on his paper you mean? He must be learning, it’s very distorted.” The moon squinted awkwardly, peering into the image appearing on his paper.

“You think he’s not doing that on purpose? May be he intended it to be like that. May be that’s how he sees things. Did you ever wonder how they think? How they perceive their world?” The boy had drawn an image of a lake and mountains behind it with a girl reclined on a beach chair in front. But, it was all twisted. The chair seemed to be on top of the lake, the trees were of varying sizes, but not distances. The angles were sharp and oblong, the coloring patchy and dense.

“I think you may be right. It is rather bizarre, but it is his creation. I do not think, however, that it is his perception of the world. I think it is how he wishes it to be.”

“Perhaps it was when he made it. But, now it’s ours too isn’t it? We’re perceiving it at this very moment. The other humans will to, if he shows it to them.”

“But, if his drawing belongs to interpretation, what is his intent in making it? Once it is finished, it will no longer be his.”

“Well, I think that’s the point. He’s made something everyone will be affected by. That once someone lays eyes on, they cannot prevent themselves from seeing. From making of it as they will.”

The next being on which their eyes stood, was a woman crossing a tape, raising her arms, yelling in celebration.

“What do you think she’s so happy about?” This time the sun wanted an answer from the moon.

“She seems to have finished something of such magnitude. And she looks tired, you can see the effort outlined in that smile. That tape must be very valuable. Or maybe it’s not the tape. It’s what came before it. But, she’s reached it now. Wonder what it could be?”

“Whatever it is, it has made her so happy. You know, this moment, it’s not so satisfying for us. But, it is for them.”
“It’s all they have. I think, I think like you said before, we don’t see the little images. These humans, they have to salvage every moment as if it was the last scrap of a delicious meal. It must be odd to have an end to one’s existence.”

“Exactly. How odd it is that they have to define moments. After all, we live in one long moment. Eternity.”

“They can’t regain a moment though. How terrible that must be. It comes and it’s gone. Ours, after all, is perpetually renewed, we need not worry about it disappearing.” They were right. Eternity was the never ending spring, the bottomless peanut bag, the space in outer space.

“That’s why they savor each moment. I think they’re trying to keep it, to make it last forever, but they never can. Do you think they know that?”

“Well, they must. But, they try anyways don’t they? Foolishly brave they are if you ask me.”

“What about that man? What’s this moment to him?” The sun spotted a man alone on a beach fingering grains of sand and starting out at the unending waves. In his left hand he held a handful of sand. With his right hand, he attempted to pick up a single grain of sand at a time. He examined grain after grain with torrid scrutiny before returning it to the beach. Inevitably some of the grains would slip through his left hand, but he never seemed to notice or care that he would not be able to examine them. Eventually his hand was left empty, far more grains had slipped through his fingers than he had observed.

“I think he’s thinking. Contemplating. But, what? He’s seems so absorbed by each grain,” said the moon. The man continued as if entranced by the sand. He seemed to finger each grain of thought as if it had some ineffable value, greater than rubies or gold. Quivering in disbelief, the moon swayed uncomfortably, as the last drop of water on a leaf might as it stretched for the ground.

“I want to go to him. To ask him. Why are those grains so important? Especially when he is surrounded by millions more like them. What thoughts do they produce?” The moon was baffled by the man’s behavior. But, she had no feet to be grounded. She could not go to him and ask her shivering questions. She could not run from her perpetual orbit, she could not leave things to chance, to emotion, to time, to the finite.

“He must be having a thought for every grain. Look at how focused he is! Look at how he grins at some, and frowns at others, and almost cries at yet others! The reactions are endless!” The sun was speaking with mounting excitement, as if he was reaching some momentous epiphany, but could not quite get there. It was as if the something, the realization was something he could not quite see, something peripheral, that if he turned, would turn too, so that it would forever haunt the corners of his mind.

He turned and looked at the moon. In their eternal gaze, he knew that she knew. But, what did they know?


Published by Johanne Boulat

Johanne Boulat was born in French-speaking Switzerland, where she lives again now, but she grew up under the resplendent California sun. For 21 years she basked in the spirit of the Wilderness, which she discovered on hiking as well as literary paths. She received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology from the University of California, Davis in 2012 and since then has worked as a scientific field aid, a translator, a sales specialist, and a running coach. In 2018, she completed her master’s degree in English Literature at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. She now teaches English and Science at a local elementary school and dedicates her free time to the three “R”s: Running, Reading, and Writing.

2 thoughts on “Sun and Moon Story

  1. That man towards the end, you forgot to write his name. He is Ulysses and he has completed his voyage. Since he returned he has understood that traveling is what counts, not its aim. He is one to know that as many galaxies are populating the universe as grains of sand do the Earth. His quest might look desperate but he is checking a few, to decide on which world to explore.Next. On a second Odyssey that will move him. This has already started. The Moon which has the aspirations but not the means can see it on his face!

    1. Wonderful James! in writing this story, i had my own interpretation of course, but i also wanted to make sure the story was open to the imagination and interpretation of others- looks like i succeeded 🙂

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