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C. The Moon In The Sea



The Moon In The Sea

The breakers

on the water

tell the story

of time...

   ...of time.

As the moonlight

dances madly

through the brine

in a million different ways...

   ...every night.

I see the sun

in the moon

and in the sea

in my eye

in that deeper part of me.

The firefly

in my lantern

is a symbol

of plight...

   ...of plight.

Trapped inside her

missed his calling

to fly

into the night...

    ...to shine his light.

So I release him

to his journey...

   ...to his journey

      ...to his journey

And his tailight

is reflecting

on the sea

With the moon...

   ... for a while.

Oh, but I can't so easily

find a simple answer 

to all the problems I have seen.

But I can see the sun

in the moon

and in the sea

in my eye

in that deeper part of me.

So I guess there's hope...

   ...I guess there's hope

Storyline Notes

Our protagonist, Dax, continues to visit the 'Shroud of the Silent' on moonlit nights to visit the rebels.  He starts to gain the guarded trust of many within the misfit outfit.  He hears a rumor that the state agencies, and 'SOL' in particular, already know of these 'secret' gatherings but do not see them as a threat.  In fact, the rumor says that the state analysts even see the 'rebellious' activities as a good 'release' or 'venting of frustrations' that might actually make some people less inclined to pursue any real change.  Still Dax wonders, "then why all the secrecy and long overcoats and paranoid side-glancing?" 

Of course, some say the rumors mean that the Enforcers are just waiting for the right time to clamp down on the rebel enclave - thus catching the maximum number of would-be usurpers as possible. While Dax feels the society enforced by the state is wholly corrupt and unjust, he also feels that the rebels have not fully opened up to him. He starts to ponder whether they are just an interesting though possibly dangerous diversion.

So, on a subsequent night when the moon was at its fullest, he decides to take a different excursion.  Even though it was supposedly forbidden to leave ones assigned quarters after dark, he has now done so - cautiously - many times.   So on this particular night he decides to visit a quiet seaside place instead of the rebel gathering.  He has always fantasized about visiting the beach at night.  If he is stopped by the enforcers, he rationalized, he will say he is just going to the 'approved rebel gathering'. In that way he could at least stupidly test the theory from the rumor that the gathering is already known and approved by the state. "On second thought, that is a bad idea",  he decided. Mainly he would just try to avoid being caught in the first place.

Although he lives near the beach he has never seen but a passing glimpse of it. In most places that he has seen it in passing by while on the transport, the coast is overrun with commercial structures and industrial activities anyway.  So he had never seen a 'pretty' beach like those that had been romanticized in old banned images of postcards and vacation brochures.  So his plan was to find the most secluded and natural beach location to just relax, reflect, and enjoy his 'evening out'.  He brings an old lantern just in case the trail to the beach got too dark, but finds that he does not need to light it since the moonlight is so bright that he can really see quite clearly.

['The Moon In the Sea' Scene: A very natural seafront location where sea oats and other coastal plants grow almost up to the edge of the shore. The trees and thick scrub surround a small clearing on all sides.  The overgrowth opens up to frame a very nice moonlit ocean scene. There is a steep short beachhead topped with plant life. There is not a soul in sight.]

While at the seaside, he had planned to reflect upon the problems facing him - and the ailing society to which he belongs. He also wants to consider whether or not to continue visiting the rebels, clearly at some risk to himself and perhaps to them as well.  Instead he is truly dazzled by the spectacle presented by the moon - low on the horizon above the sea - sparkling off of each small crest in the rippling tide.  Something about the white light as it reflected from the sea surface looked almost electric, as if sparks were dancing within the waves.

[See song lyrics at this point]

His mind drifted, to thinking with amazement of how the light he saw dancing across the wavelets, was actually coming from the surface of the moon - many thousands of miles away. The moon, beautiful in and of itself as it hung there effortlessly, was not the ultimate source of this light show. He thought it was all the more amazing that this same light was really coming from a giant glowing star (the sun) vastly further away and somewhere behind him, or below him...somehow shining around the earth or just past it. Amazingly some of these rays passed though the darkness of space above earth and onto the surface of the moon, only to be reflected toward him and then refracted into many scattered pieces by the choppy surface of the sea.  

But his wonderment did not stop there, again it was almost bewildering to imagine that these scattered beams of light from the sea top would all reach his eyes, and somehow there they are passed along to translate into meaningful symbols and 'pictures' within his mind.  Even beyond that, these symbols and images could even seem to trigger some deeper part of his inner being to evoke feelings, emotions, primal sensations, and mostly a deep sense of awe.

He finds himself musing over each part of this elaborate symphony and of the whole concept of all the pieces.  And sees even his own act of musing about the whole process as yet another experiential layer of 'the awesomeness'.  He starts to feel that there is indeed some miraculous aspect to life.  In this case, not so much a miracle of how things came into being, and not so much about the purpose or direction of all things, but rather he began to see a miraculous aspect within the nature of each moment we experience. Perhaps mind-blowing is a better word than miraculous, but still there is an 'awesomeness' that exists in each moment that Dax clearly observed and felt in that moment.

As his mind wandered and wondered, immersed in the oneness of the sights, sounds, and awareness of the seaside locale - Dax noticed another faint glow from the corner of his eye.   It was as if his lantern that was perched on a rock beside him, though unlit, contained a small dimly flickering glow. Upon closer examination it became clear that this strange light was in fact a 'firefly' or 'lightning bug' who had somehow found away inside the glass housing of his lantern. Perhaps it had gotten in through one of the small vents that are there to help burnt gases escape.

His first instinct was to ignore it, and perhaps the firefly would find its way back out - the same way it had gotten in. But after a while he saw the erratically flashing light as it moved throughout the smooth cylindrical glass lantern, but with no progress made in exiting.  At times the flickering would slow or cease, and Dax imagined that perhaps the tiny creature was tiring or perhaps it was about to 'give up' or expire.  He had heard that some insects - maybe fireflies too - only live a single evening after they molt into their adult forms. And of course he has heard that the great purpose behind the flying of fireflies with their tail-lights lit was to find a mate in a great aerobatic dance affair.

He began to pity the creature, and feel that it had already been deprived off it's 'precious short time' and robbed perhaps of fulfilling its purpose.  Somehow, Dax felt, that while it might be a completely insignificant act, he was supposed to free this firefly.  He screwed open the lid and wondered if the tiny being would be too tired to leave.   But on the contrary, it seemed to sense the fresh air at the top of the now opened cylinder. So it scurried on all legs hastily to the rim.

From there it paused, probably just to ruffle its wings to prepare for flight - but almost the hesitation appeared to be a gesture to say 'thank you'.  Dax wondered if the creature with its tiny brain was even aware of him, or of his hand that had opened the lantern.  But without further adieu, the firefly flew off from the rim of the lantern, through the moonlit sky and out over the mildly lapping waves of the sea.

Dax continued to watch the firefly as it would continue to blink its light on and off above the waves, and for a moment he could even see the light from the firefly reflecting from the sea along with the sparkling reflections coming from the moon.  

In time Dax began to see a few other fireflies above the sea, and in between the intermittent blinking he lost track of 'his' firefly.  But he knew that 'his' was one of those out there.  He might not know what would become of the firefly, but it did not matter - for Dax, he simply knew he had done the right thing in that moment.

So, on this day Dax experienced three new realizations: 

That the nature of his existence in each moment was somehow a 'wonder' and perhaps even a 'miracle'.  And he also came to realize, that just as the firefly had conditions change positively for it (due to no effort of its own), sometimes we humans can also have conditions change favorably for us as well due to circumstances beyond our control. And lastly, while much of life may seem random, in some moments there are seemingly 'right actions' whose rewards are often inherent in the engagement in the action and the experiencing of the results.

As the moon rose further in the sky the reflections on the sea surface diminished, and the fireflies dispersed. But Dax went home with lasting memories.  He went to sleep that night feeling less conflicted, and with a more hopeful state of mind.


Words and Music by David Denton
All Instruments and vocals performed by David Denton
Recorded and Produced by David Denton

Commentary - Technical Notes

One of the simpler songs in the All Systems Go rock opera - both musically and lyrically, 'The Moon In The Sea' nonetheless has some very deep meaning. 

It is chock full of symbolism which I don't think needs much explaining, but in case you like that sort of thing...

One can almost visualize a diagram of the world, with the sun behind it projecting night onto the viewers hemisphere, while lines coming from the sun hit the moon above the darkened portion of the orb and shine down to earth.  These lines from the moon hit the sea surface in a number of places and depending upon the particular angle of the ways at a given time reflect many smaller sun rays from the ocean surface into the observers eyes (who happens to be standing in just the right place in the world).  A line goes from the eyes to the mind and heart inside of the person - and while these 'internal' lines are not light they represent in symbollic terms the light from the sun coming from the waves via the moon.  These 'images' also evoke feelings and primal archetypes within our 'deeper' portions.  The final part of the diagram exercise is the observer being able to observe the diagram that itself was never actually drawn but only described and the said diagram exists solely within the being.  These aspects of our awareness as well as our physical reality are supposed to convey a sense of experiential miraculousness.

The firefly being trapped is symbollic to how we are often trapped by circumstances beyond our control which prevent us from pursuing our goals or living up to our full potential.   Often we are trapped inside of a very real or sometimes artifical set of constraints that really impede us from being who we are meant to be.   The sybolism of the hand removing the lid before time runs out is linked to the idea that God (or some other factor also beyond our control) may in some cases remove or re-arrange the impediments that were formerly blocking us.  The things in life that are beyond our control are not always impediments, but often there are an underpinning of things that foster us or allow us to exist and thrive. 

So overall, I consider this a song of hope or a song 'symbolic of hopefulness'.

Next Song: Outsiders