At 6:00am on November 19, 2016, I stood in the yard, predawn, clutching my coffee mug to my chest for warmth, fighting the nightmares and the headache they brought me, and I looked up.
There, clear and bright, the three-fifths moon glowed, surrounded by thin clouds edged with the complete spectrum of colors.
I didn’t see our moon. I saw, clear and bright, the millions of people around me who were once considered (by people who look like me) to be only three-fifths of a man. Those who were defined that way by a hateful law enacted in 1787, and who were not free… no freer than is the moon from the earth’s gravity. And with the three-fifths men, I saw the full spectrum of humanity – women who were considered nothing, the women AND men who were considered nothing because they did not and do not conform to the blinding white light of the sun.
To earthbound eyes, the moon waxes and wanes, and waxes again. From full to nothing to full again. An endless cycle. Yet even when we don’t see it, it’s there, full and round and three-dimensional and complete. That full array of color is always there, different wavelengths of light. But there the metaphor falls apart.
The moon does not generate its own heat nor light. The full spectrum of color appears when light is reflected and refracted.
You, the unseen man and woman, generate both heat and light and a gamut of colors that make a full circle.
You are not three-fifths, on November 19, 2016, at 6:00am. You are not reflection or refraction. You are whole, equal, complete, entire, glowing, brilliant, beautiful.
Without you, we are not we, and we are none of those things. I am none of those things.
For what it’s worth, I see and love you.