Finn’s Moon

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The Priestess offered a reassuring smile. Silver rings which shimmered in the florescent light adorned her long fingers, and many bracelets creating a sound like tiny bells jangled against one another with each movement of her slender wrist.

She turned over card after card with silent reverence aligning them in the shape of a Celtic cross. Her expressive eyes reflected the dreams and hopes of many souls.

shamanAubrey held her breath pleading inside her head that this woman and her enchanted cards would be able to provide the answers her heart so desperately sought. The pictures on the cards carried her to a faraway place and time-a time when mystics and shamans held positions of great respect. The place Aubrey imagined was bright like a fire on an ancient winter’s night in a dark forest, and deep green, much like the eyes of her lover, with whispers of fairies blowing in the wind. These mystics could hear the whispers. It was with the knowledge passed on by their ethereal lips that they were able to help people whose hearts were heavy with the pain of living.

Aubrey looked into the woman’s shadowy eyes and thought about how so much of the world had shut out the voices of angels. She hoped the woman could feel the sincerity in Aubrey’s personal quest for answers.

Could Finn’s voice be heard somewhere in these cards? Could this woman sense his presence? If the Priestess was truly in tune with the spirit world, she would have to feel him. He came to Aubrey- surrounded her with his essence settling over her like the mist of Ireland, his home. There were moments when Aubrey was certain that everyone could see the radiance that clung to her body like a golden cloak. It was not her light, but his. Music resonated from deep within her, like the strings of the dulcimer Finn played. It was as if the last cord his hands formed reverberated inside of her all the years he had been gone. His body may have been lost to her, but his voice, his music, his light were like permanent streaks of star shine across her gloomy sky. Many times Aubrey questioned if she were crazy, or merely trying to fulfill the void left within her upon his death.

Aubrey knew the reason for Finn’s presence was neither insanity nor wish fulfillment. In fact, when Finn died, she had wanted nothing more to do with him or his memory.

Aubrey railed against heaven itself when she received the tearful words of his beloved sister coming to her so softly over the telephone line.

“He’s gone, Aubrey, and I know he has taken your heart with him. Let both be at peace now.”

Aubrey had sat on her bed holding the phone long after the dial tone had sounded, and the dull, recorded voice of the operator, “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.” The words stung at her heart-please try again, try again. She placed the phone back on the yellow receiver. Try again? But Finn hadn’t tried again. He had simply and finally given up.

Aubrey recalled their last conversation. Finn had told her that he was ceasing his medication and letting go. Aubrey screamed at him calling him a coward. She demanded to know why he would do such a selfish thing? Why would he leave her?

Finn had tried patiently and lovingly to explain that he was tired. He was only thirty years old, but he was tired of all the endless needles piercing his body, blood tests that pricked his delicate fingers tips, scheduled and restricted meals, and unexpected hospitalizations if he happened not to maintain the tricky balance. He was tired of being sick and tired. But what he had said next, Aubrey buried deep inside, vowing to never again think of Finn. He had not only taken her heart with him when he died, but gouged it in the most painful, horrific way.

He had told her, “I’m tired of waitin’ for ya, Aubrey. Your insecurity and disbelief in yourself, and in the idea that I could love ya as much as I say, has kept us apart far too long. If I can not be with ya in this life, I will wait for ya in the next.”

She slammed the phone down appalled at the truth in his words. She never heard his sweet voice again. After receiving the dreadful call from his sister, Aubrey went to her backyard, the place where she and Finn had spent so many stolen, precious hours.

Her father had just finished mowing the lawn. The smell of freshly cut grass pricked her nose and throat like shards of glass. It was a sunless, July day, but she stood frozen. Her father was not one to come to for security or comfort, but he was the first person she encountered after the most devastating news of her life.

Aubrey’s father stood tall and unmoving asking her what was wrong in a voice that did not reflect concern, but the look on her face must have truly disturbed him.

“What happened?” He asked again. His voice was on the verge of caring.

“Finn!”  “Finn is dead!”

She choked out the words. Her entire body shook from her mournful sobs.

Her father brushed the top of her head-the place Finn had said God resided-with his dirty hand.

“I’m sorry. I’m real sorry.” Was all her father managed to say.

Half of his daughter was now dead as well. From that moment on, Aubrey covered the great chasm where her heart used to be with a thick blanket of denial. She shut out from her mind the music that was Finn, replacing it with the noisy chatter of all that was going on around her.

For the next few years she lived a life she could hardly remember now. She had given herself to other men for mercurial reasons, always in the dark, always without love. Aubrey was completely unaware of the fact that she was on a self-destructive mission to punish herself for what had happened to Finn.

The sensitive face of card reader and years of self-reflection made clear to Aubrey what her past was about. The woman began to show her the cards. It was all there: her sorrow, joy, and pain, all displayed in the colorful and mysterious pictures on the cards. During the past two years Aubrey had begun to see and feel flashes of Finn. It was as if she had been awakening from a long sleep, and the ugliness of the past had been a terrible dream. She could not escape his presence. Where there was once a dark, empty cavern of unexpressed sorrow and loneliness, there was now illumination.

Finn flooded every aspect of her being. It was as if he had been waiting patiently those years after his death, until finally she opened the gateway to her mind and heart. He came rushing through with the fury and insistence of a raging river. Suddenly she could feel her heart beating again, and it beat in time to the wonderful music of Finn. The music she had not allowed herself to hear in so very long. Everything was old, and everything was new. Laughter filled her to the point of brimming. The littlest things in her day would bring a smile to her face.

But Aubrey also experienced a great sense of confusion. Feeling Finn as strongly as she did was overwhelming. She knew in her newly restored heart that he was indeed there, but she also wondered what that meant. Was Finn there because he wanted to be, or because she had summoned him? She desperately needed to know. She did not want to keep him waiting in death as she had in life. Aubrey recognized that she would never recover if he left her this time. Their spirits so enmeshed she no longer knew where she began, and Finn ended. To her, they were now one soul spanning two universes. She needed him like she needed air.

The spirit woman spoke with certainty.

“He is with you, Aubrey.  I can feel him here, and he is pure light and love.”

Aubrey was doubtful. She wanted so much to believe this woman, but was frightened by what her truth would mean.

The woman reached out taking Aubrey’s hands.

“You see this card here?” She laid Aubrey’s hands on an odd- looking card disturbing in its appearance; a black knight carrying a flag as he rode atop a white horse. “This is the card of death. Finn left this world too soon. He feels the great pain of leaving you here alone. He chooses to stay between the two worlds now. He wants to be with you. He wants you to know he is here, and he wants to know if you wish him to stay.”

The tears from Aubrey’s eyes stained the purple, satin tablecloth.

“Yes,” she whispered. “I want him to stay.”

The woman breathed deeply.

“He will wait for you. He will wait as long as it takes. And you will be together again.”

Aubrey no longer tried to hold back the emotion. She hung her head as the tears continued to fall. She wasn’t crazy. She knew it. The woman knew it.

The Priestess spoke again, this time in a voice that seemed to come from somewhere other than herself.

“He knows your fear of the night. That is when his presence is most strong.”

How could she know that? Aubrey thought about when he was alive, no matter if he was lying beside, or crossing over the miles that separated them on the telephone, Finn would sing her to sleep every night. He knew of the nightmares about her father. Sometimes when Aubrey was with Finn, she would wake up screaming into the blackness of night. Finn would hold her close, and promise that he would never let her father hurt her again. His words soothed her. She believed he would always protect her. Night took on a deafening silence after his death. She moved out of her parent’s house the very same week. She never wanted to face the night without Finn, so for what seemed an eternity, Aubrey filled her nights with pitiable substitutes to keep from confronting her true fear-that she would never see Finn again.

The woman turned over another card.

“You have ignored the truth, Aubrey. You have allowed others to dissuade you about the reality of your life. You came here out of fear.” Her statement was not an accusation, but offered with great compassion. “Look at this card, and tell me what you see.”

Aubrey gasped. The card depicted a large, full, silver moon. “Finn!”

Again glimpses of her lover like lightening sparking pictures simultaneously in her mind; Finn laughing, standing fearlessly on top of a ladder in the middle of the street one summer night.

“If ya want the moon, Aubrey, darlin’ I can get it for ya!”

He reminded her of George Bailey, the charming hero from her favorite Frank Capra film. She stood below laughing as well. Finn looked so handsome, so sincere, that she truly believed he had the power to retrieve the lighted sphere. After all, she had seen its phases move through his emotive eyes many a night.

Another time he had told her, as he pressed his body close to hers,

“Let the moon be your compass to show ya where I am, and what I am thinkin’ about. Whenever ya look at it, wherever ya are, know that I am near, and I am lovin’ ya.”

And when Aubrey would lay down alone in her bed at night, desperately seeking sleep but to no avail, the moon was always visible through her window. Its benevolent face reassuring her that Finn was with her in the most profound way. She had the distinct feeling that if she stared long enough into the dark corner of her room- the one spot the moonlight did not reach- she would see a pair of green eyes smiling at her.

Aubrey’s eyes met the woman’s as she reassured.

“You will be together. He is with you now. Let him in and set one another free.”

Shaken, but with a full heart, Aubrey got up to leave. As she was gathering her things, the woman handed her one of her cards. The cards she used to read the stories of others, the cards of the ancients. Once outside Aubrey turned the card over, seeing the face of the moon. The woman had given her the moon.

That night Aubrey lay in her bed, clutching the small stuffed bear that had been Finn’s most precious childhood possession. Even though the blinds above the window were closed, incandescent light shone through the tiny slits. Nothing could block out the luminosity. A single, intense line of pure light occupied the space directly next to her body, the ethereal outline of anther. She lovingly ran her hand over the illuminated mattress and was instantly filled with his presence.

She could hear his tender voice singing her goodnight, feel the familiar, strong arms wrap around her, hear his laughter as he climbed his ladder to the sky.

“I love ya, Aubrey.” He whispered.

“I want the moon, Finn.” She answered, feeling the power of sleep finally reaching her and taking her on its gentle waves; the waves of the tide that turned by the power of that light.

She was sleeping in his ocean, floating away with the certainty that they rode the same sky, the same sea; all of it was the same. She was Finn, and Finn was she. They were one. Aubrey slept that night, free nightmares, free of fear.

The Priestess offered a reassuring smile. Silver rings which shimmered in the florescent light adorned her long fingers, and many bracelets creating a sound like tiny bells jangled against one another with each movement of her slender wrist. She turned over card after card with silent reverence aligning them in the shape of a Celtic cross. Her expressive eyes reflected the dreams and hopes of many souls.

Aubrey held her breath pleading inside her head that this woman and her enchanted cards would be able to provide the answers her heart so desperately sought. The pictures on the cards carried her to a faraway place and time-a time when mystics and shamans held positions of great respect. The place Aubrey imagined was bright like a fire on an ancient winter’s night in a dark forest, and deep green, much like the eyes of her lover, with whispers of fairies blowing in the wind. These mystics could hear the whispers. It was with the knowledge passed on by their ethereal lips that they were able to help people whose hearts were heavy with the pain of living.

Aubrey looked into the woman’s shadowy eyes and thought about how so much of the world had shut out the voices of angels. She hoped the woman could feel the sincerity in Aubrey’s personal quest for answers.

Could Finn’s voice be heard somewhere in these cards? Could this woman sense his presence? If the Priestess was truly in tune with the spirit world, she would have to feel him. He came to Aubrey- surrounded her with his essence settling over her like the mist of Ireland, his home. There were moments when Aubrey was certain that everyone could see the radiance that clung to her body like a golden cloak. It was not her light, but his. Music resonated from deep within her, like the strings of the dulcimer Finn played. It was as if the last cord his hands formed reverberated inside of her all the years he had been gone. His body may have been lost to her, but his voice, his music, his light were like permanent streaks of star shine across her gloomy sky. Many times Aubrey questioned if she were crazy, or merely trying to fulfill the void left within her upon his death.

Aubrey knew the reason for Finn’s presence was neither insanity nor wish fulfillment. In fact, when Finn died, she had wanted nothing more to do with him or his memory.

Aubrey railed against heaven itself when she received the tearful words of his beloved sister coming to her so softly over the telephone line.

“He’s gone, Aubrey, and I know he has taken your heart with him. Let both be at peace now.”

Aubrey had sat on her bed holding the phone long after the dial tone had sounded, and the dull, recorded voice of the operator, “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.” The words stung at her heart-please try again, try again. She placed the phone back on the yellow receiver. Try again? But Finn hadn’t tried again. He had simply and finally given up.

Aubrey recalled their last conversation. Finn had told her that he was ceasing his medication and letting go. Aubrey screamed at him calling him a coward. She demanded to know why he would do such a selfish thing? Why would he leave her?

Finn had tried patiently and lovingly to explain that he was tired. He was only thirty years old, but he was tired of all the endless needles piercing his body, blood tests that pricked his delicate fingers tips, scheduled and restricted meals, and unexpected hospitalizations if he happened not to maintain the tricky balance. He was tired of being sick and tired. But what he had said next, Aubrey buried deep inside, vowing to never again think of Finn. He had not only taken her heart with him when he died, but gouged it in the most painful, horrific way.

He had told her, “I’m tired of waitin’ for ya, Aubrey. Your insecurity and disbelief in yourself, and in the idea that I could love ya as much as I say, has kept us apart far too long. If I can not be with ya in this life, I will wait for ya in the next.”

She slammed the phone down appalled at the truth in his words. She never heard his sweet voice again. After receiving the dreadful call from his sister, Aubrey went to her backyard, the place where she and Finn had spent so many stolen, precious hours.

Her father had just finished mowing the lawn. The smell of freshly cut grass pricked her nose and throat like shards of glass. It was a sunless, July day, but she stood frozen. Her father was not one to come to for security or comfort, but he was the first person she encountered after the most devastating news of her life.

Aubrey’s father stood tall and unmoving asking her what was wrong in a voice that did not reflect concern, but the look on her face must have truly disturbed him.

“What happened?” He asked again. His voice was on the verge of caring.

“Finn!”  “Finn is dead!”

She choked out the words. Her entire body shook from her mournful sobs.

Her father brushed the top of her head-the place Finn had said God resided-with his dirty hand.

“I’m sorry. I’m real sorry.” Was all her father managed to say.

Half of his daughter was now dead as well. From that moment on, Aubrey covered the great chasm where her heart used to be with a thick blanket of denial. She shut out from her mind the music that was Finn, replacing it with the noisy chatter of all that was going on around her.

For the next few years she lived a life she could hardly remember now. She had given herself to other men for mercurial reasons, always in the dark, always without love. Aubrey was completely unaware of the fact that she was on a self-destructive mission to punish herself for what had happened to Finn.

The sensitive face of card reader and years of self-reflection made clear to Aubrey what her past was about. The woman began to show her the cards. It was all there: her sorrow, joy, and pain, all displayed in the colorful and mysterious pictures on the cards. During the past two years Aubrey had begun to see and feel flashes of Finn. It was as if she had been awakening from a long sleep, and the ugliness of the past had been a terrible dream. She could not escape his presence. Where there was once a dark, empty cavern of unexpressed sorrow and loneliness, there was now illumination.

Finn flooded every aspect of her being. It was as if he had been waiting patiently those years after his death, until finally she opened the gateway to her mind and heart. He came rushing through with the fury and insistence of a raging river. Suddenly she could feel her heart beating again, and it beat in time to the wonderful music of Finn. The music she had not allowed herself to hear in so very long. Everything was old, and everything was new. Laughter filled her to the point of brimming. The littlest things in her day would bring a smile to her face.

But Aubrey also experienced a great sense of confusion. Feeling Finn as strongly as she did was overwhelming. She knew in her newly restored heart that he was indeed there, but she also wondered what that meant. Was Finn there because he wanted to be, or because she had summoned him? She desperately needed to know. She did not want to keep him waiting in death as she had in life. Aubrey recognized that she would never recover if he left her this time. Their spirits so enmeshed she no longer knew where she began, and Finn ended. To her, they were now one soul spanning two universes. She needed him like she needed air.

The spirit woman spoke with certainty.

“He is with you, Aubrey.  I can feel him here, and he is pure light and love.”

Aubrey was doubtful. She wanted so much to believe this woman, but was frightened by what her truth would mean.

The woman reached out taking Aubrey’s hands.

“You see this card here?” She laid Aubrey’s hands on an odd- looking card disturbing in its appearance; a black knight carrying a flag as he rode atop a white horse. “This is the card of death. Finn left this world too soon. He feels the great pain of leaving you here alone. He chooses to stay between the two worlds now. He wants to be with you. He wants you to know he is here, and he wants to know if you wish him to stay.”

The tears from Aubrey’s eyes stained the purple, satin tablecloth.

“Yes,” she whispered. “I want him to stay.”

The woman breathed deeply.

“He will wait for you. He will wait as long as it takes. And you will be together again.”

Aubrey no longer tried to hold back the emotion. She hung her head as the tears continued to fall. She wasn’t crazy. She knew it. The woman knew it.

The Priestess spoke again, this time in a voice that seemed to come from somewhere other than herself.

“He knows your fear of the night. That is when his presence is most strong.”

How could she know that? Aubrey thought about when he was alive, no matter if he was lying beside, or crossing over the miles that separated them on the telephone, Finn would sing her to sleep every night. He knew of the nightmares about her father. Sometimes when Aubrey was with Finn, she would wake up screaming into the blackness of night. Finn would hold her close, and promise that he would never let her father hurt her again. His words soothed her. She believed he would always protect her. Night took on a deafening silence after his death. She moved out of her parent’s house the very same week. She never wanted to face the night without Finn, so for what seemed an eternity, Aubrey filled her nights with pitiable substitutes to keep from confronting her true fear-that she would never see Finn again.

The woman turned over another card.

“You have ignored the truth, Aubrey. You have allowed others to dissuade you about the reality of your life. You came here out of fear.” Her statement was not an accusation, but offered with great compassion. “Look at this card, and tell me what you see.”

Aubrey gasped. The card depicted a large, full, silver moon. “Finn!”

Again glimpses of her lover like lightening sparking pictures simultaneously in her mind; Finn laughing, standing fearlessly on top of a ladder in the middle of the street one summer night.

“If ya want the moon, Aubrey, darlin’ I can get it for ya!”

He reminded her of George Bailey, the charming hero from her favorite Frank Capra film. She stood below laughing as well. Finn looked so handsome, so sincere, that she truly believed he had the power to retrieve the lighted sphere. After all, she had seen its phases move through his emotive eyes many a night.

Another time he had told her, as he pressed his body close to hers,

“Let the moon be your compass to show ya where I am, and what I am thinkin’ about. Whenever ya look at it, wherever ya are, know that I am near, and I am lovin’ ya.”

And when Aubrey would lay down alone in her bed at night, desperately seeking sleep but to no avail, the moon was always visible through her window. Its benevolent face reassuring her that Finn was with her in the most profound way. She had the distinct feeling that if she stared long enough into the dark corner of her room- the one spot the moonlight did not reach- she would see a pair of green eyes smiling at her.

Aubrey’s eyes met the woman’s as she reassured.

“You will be together. He is with you now. Let him in and set one another free.”

Shaken, but with a full heart, Aubrey got up to leave. As she was gathering her things, the woman handed her one of her cards. The cards she used to read the stories of others, the cards of the ancients. Once outside Aubrey turned the card over, seeing the face of the moon. The woman had given her the moon.

That night Aubrey lay in her bed, clutching the small stuffed bear that had been Finn’s most precious childhood possession. Even though the blinds above the window were closed, incandescent light shone through the tiny slits. Nothing could block out the luminosity. A single, intense line of pure light occupied the space directly next to her body, the ethereal outline of anther. She lovingly ran her hand over the illuminated mattress and was instantly filled with his presence.

She could hear his tender voice singing her goodnight, feel the familiar, strong arms wrap around her, hear his laughter as he climbed his ladder to the sky.

“I love ya, Aubrey.” He whispered.

“I want the moon, Finn.” She answered, feeling the power of sleep finally reaching her and taking her on its gentle waves; the waves of the tide that turned by the power of that light.

She was sleeping in his ocean, floating away with the certainty that they rode the same sky, the same sea; all of it was the same. She was Finn, and Finn was she. They were one. Aubrey slept that night, free nightmares, free of fear.

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