I'VE ALWAYS FELT ruled by the moon, even as a kid. Whenever there is a full moon, I can't sleep a wink. Whenever there is a new moon, I'm inspired to make changes. I remember it driving my mother crazy when I couldn't sleep and the next day she would always say something to the effect of 'Oh well that makes sense, it was a full moon. We're all crazy on a full moon.' Even if I've taken a sleeping pill, I still toss and turn all night long. We had a 'Supermoon' on the 8th of March which is a buzzword these days and (in my humble opinion) clickbait for poor schmucks like myself. But the moon is powerful and she does listen to us. And this one in particular promises to open a new door into a new phase of our lives, wherever we might want that to go and to shed old habits. 

Photo courtesy of Street Art Globe

My old habits, like most, tend to die pretty hard and I have trouble letting go. To be honest when I read about the moon and pore over articles on Mystic Mamma or Susan Miller, I eat that shit up like a kid to candy. I can't get enough of it. Part of me thinks it's hogwash and another part thinks it's a very effective tool for getting exactly what you want out of life. The problem is more in the knowing. But the truth is I never practically apply it to my life, it's so waffley, so unscientific, so intangible. So usually, I read it and say to myself 'Ok, Nora, harness the power of that moon. You can do it this time.'  Do I ever do it? No. I do nothing about it but read articles about 'How To Harness the Power of the New Moon' and promptly open up Snapchat and check out what Diplo is up to in Jamaica, as if that's of any use. But this time I figured: new liver, new me, so I tried to hone in on it this week. I took time to try to break old patterns and start new ones, to sit and be quiet and reflect in a way I haven't for a while. I spent some time looking at the ocean and marveling at the mighty power of the waves. And I gave myself some space to set intentions for the future, and to figure out what I really, actually want, as opposed to what I think I want. And this blog is a part of that. To attempt to make a positive impact stemming from a terrible situation.

Sunset. 8 March 2016. Southampton, NY.

The day I think I got sick, before any signs of trouble set in -- that's to say -- symptoms, was the most powerful full moon of 2015. You know the one. It was all over the internet. I say the day I think I got sick because it's the day I think I contracted whatever it was that attacked my liver, because from that moment on I never felt normal again. The night of that full moon I had an anxiety attack in a hotel in Gili Trawangan, and I had the strangest feeling that someone was going to kill me that night. Now, I'm up there with the best of the wimps when it comes to things that go bump in the night. And I like to think I'm just the right amount of anxiety ridden neuroses, but I'm not prone to anxiety attacks. And I'm fearless when it comes to travel and staying in any old place in any old town. I've literally slept in a train station before. In fact, I have slept in 3 separate train stations across Europe (teenage tendencies for adventure and bad decision making). But that night, I turned to Claire and I said 'Claire I think someone is going to come kill us with machetes tonight, do you think we're going to die tonight?' And that's just not me. I had never said anything like that before in my life, at least not in earnest. Listen, I know it sounds far-fetched and for those of you with a sceptic view of the world, I get it -- how on earth would I know that something was trying to kill me? To that I can only say, every single medical department at New York Presbyterian Cornell took a gander at me as I lay dying in a hospital bed on the Upper East Side and every single blood test available to them was done (literally gallons taken from me, sometimes 10 times a day), and they never found the cause for my Fulminant Liver Failure, even after a pathology was done on my old liver. So I had a bit of a premonition. Stranger things have and did happen. To me. 

The full moon of the 1st of July 2015 over the Gili Islands, Indonesia

The next important moon in this story was the Blue Moon on the 31st of July 2015. I was in the ICU Step Down clinic at this point and I could see it out of my window, but just barely. I was acutely aware of its power. I spoke to one of my nurses about it at length. I sent this article from Elephant Journal to my friend who had had cancer last year, and who had been sending me warrior messages, telling me I'd get through it. The article purports that this moon would bring about 'radical change'. I couldn't sleep that night, either. Two days later, on the 2nd of August, they would tell me I had to be put on the transplant list, if only to put their 'ducks in a row'. I was moved to the real ICU, and that's when all hell broke loose. Radical doesn't even begin to describe it.

The morning after the anxiety attack, taking a boat from Gili Trawangan to Gili Meno.