In Spanish, the word for a mole on the skin is lunar. This word closely resembles luna, the word for moon, and so I have constructed a bridge in my mind between the dark spots that are scattered across my skin, and the sphere that dominates our night skies.
In some cultures, the moon is linked to femininity, and to the subtle pulls and changes that the non-human universe still effect on our human bodies. I have always enjoyed the fact that our moon moves the tides of the ocean; that distant presence has such a profound impact on our world. As a woman, I feel drawn to the mystery of all of this. And, because of my linguistic associations, the erasure-sized mole I’ve always worn on my back is a symbol of this affinity for me.
So imagine my shock when, after an appointment with a dermatologist who called my lunar my “ugly duckling,” my mole was completely removed. The dermatologist wanted to perform a biopsy, but I did not realize that meant peeling the whole thing off (it was benign). I am sad to have a scar where my mole once was. It always startles me when doctors make decisions without completely informing their patients. It’s as though these doctors wished our peculiarities could be cut away with a knife. Of course, we all know that will never happen. Thank goodness for the moon, quietly shining down on us with calm and soothing light.