Howl At The Moon

‘Aaaawooooo!’ Why does the wolf howl at the moon? I’m not sure. But I know why wolf howls reverberated throughout the beachside Monday night. They came from a bunch of naked swimmers spellbound by the mystical energy of the full moon. A wolfpack united in exuberant celebration, letting our spirits soar with each roar.

Why do the flames lick hungrily at the night sky? Because they are transforming a wooden sculpture into a triumphant effigy. Coconut husk eyes exalt skywards towards la Luna herself. Hour after hour of dedication becomes ash in the span of minutes. Wings blaze aflame like the plummeting Icarus. Smoke drifts ever higher in the salty sea breeze. Hues of pink and blue are consumed by orange before fading to black.

A good party only requires good people with good intentions. Having your own secluded beach, drums and guitars, powerful speakers, and statue to burn and dance around always helps. Add in the Arabian Sea and the watchful gaze of the full moon and you have yourself one potent party cocktail.

Ever since my friend Erica rented out the oasis known as Kakolem Beach for a New Year’s party I’ve been daydreaming of having a party there. What better time than now, I thought, especially with close friends in town. So we rented the beach and spread the word, deciding for a little Monday magic on the full moon.


Down hundreds of steps there lies a special little beach.

Descending down the staircase weaving down the cliff side, the miniature figures of Luke and Saskia grew in size, as did the magnificent sculpture they were constructing. Moonkey Martyr, an effigy constructed from branches, leaves and the bounty of the local environment, held together by wire and brightened with paint, slowly took form over the course of two days.

Gabe and I set to work constructing a wooden platform bordered by ornamental rocks to serve as his throne. We literally hand dug post holes, scooping out a handful of sand at a time until the holes were up to our shoulders. After latching the platform beams together and designing braces out of thick palm stems, the platform was ready. Together we placed the Moonkey Martyr, no lightweight, on his final resting place.

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Over the next few hours more and more beautiful souls made the descent to join our wolfpack. We sang mantras, popular songs with familiar refrains, and improvised new songs with words realized only moments before. Bang the drum, strum the guitar, let your mind go and let your feet flow.

Moonkey Martyr’s gaze followed the moon as it approached its zenith in the night sky. His outstretched arms and head thrown back triumphantly defied the universe to challenge his bliss. His expression never changed even as the first sparks enveloped the kindling below, quickly setting both the platform and Moonkey Martyr ablaze. The flames ravenously roared into the air as feet kicked up sand in a trance around the circle.

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We built something beautiful just to watch it burn.

The cycle of creation and dissolution manifested before our very eyes. We became both the creators and destroyers, all the while sustaining good intentions and sweet vibrations. To create something, appreciate its beauty without attachment, and then offer it to the flames is quite a powerful feeling. The wood physically fed the fire while our intentions did so on a metaphorical level. As my intentions were lifted away I felt a part of me stop resisting, as if a chord holding me back had been severed. Surrender. Not giving up, but rather giving up resistance. Like Moonkey Martyr surrendering to the flames, I felt like surrendering unto my freedom, becoming acutely aware of the call of the waiting water.

It’s only natural after playing with fire to play in the water. Naked as the day we were born, there were many little full moons floating about in the sea, surfacing after diving down to the sea floor. I’m not sure why but swimming at night always seems effortless. Diving to darker depths the photoplankton becomes brighter and brighter. They rush past like tiny stars at warp speed past my euphoric grin. With the breach of the water’s surface comes a gulp of fresh air and a hearty ‘Awoooooo!’ The howls echo back from the backdrop of stone and palm trees.

By morning the only evidence of the night before is contained in the ashes of the fire pit and etched on sleep deprived faces. There’s no moon visible to howl at, it’s half the world away. But that doesn’t stop us from bellowing out one last ‘Awoooooo!’ to echo across the sea.