Wednesday, February 20, 2008

lunar eclipse

Well -- I don't have a powerful enough lens on my digital camera to capture a photo of the thing. But there it is: Sort of gold, sort of pink, sort of brown -- that's probably the effects of pollution -- with a slightly brighter edge on the right. It's a full moon tonight, which normally illuminates our back yard brightly enough to read by. But the darkness out there right now is nearly total. And the stars look mighty bright and crisp. I'm reminded of the Annie Dillard piece -- maybe it's in "Pilgrim At Tinker Creek" -- where she writes of witnessing a full solar eclipse on the west coast of North America. Of the sudden shadow that swoops over the hillside where she stands, like the shade of a giant predatorial wing, and the shrieks of the bystanders...

It's primitive stuff. The "blood moon," the wrongness of shadows veiling the moon on a clear night. Though of course, it's predictable, there's nothing wrong with it. It'll happen again in 12 years. On the west coast, it's barely visible. Here, in the cold and dark, I expect to hear the howling of wolves. Silly. Instead I hear the voices of other city people, exclaiming with their children over the coolness of it; neighbors bundled up, some watching from their cars, murmuring.

No comments: