Sunday, September 27, 2015

Trying to See the Darkness

It's a clear night. Eleven minutes before the climax, Mike, Nick and I drove down the road to find the blood moon.

And there, by the Little League field, it hung, red and difficult to see in the headlights of other like-minded people, over the farm with the windmill and two horse barns and a long white plastic fence.

I thought of ancient people and their fear at a moon that bled in the sky. I was a little frightened myself, though I stood among quiet strangers with binoculars and real cameras. I wanted to know these people, to shine lights in their eyes to find friends. I wanted to hug a stranger as the full moon darkened in the sky.

Everyone whispered so that I didn't recognize voices. We stood staring over that farm as the red shifted to orange, curled and lightened around the bottom edge of the moon. I thought of how a solar eclipse is more crisp and how in the lunar eclipse, the light bends around the earth to shadow the moon with the infrared end of the rainbow.

I wanted to see the moon more clearly. I blocked out headlights with my hands, even the lights from the horses' barns. I looked through a hole in my fist. I closed my right eye, the weak one. It was only a bit clearer, the ordinary moon's face darkened in sadness, anger, surprise?

No, just physics. Red light bends less than blue light. Am I right? The beautiful blue light of the usual moon was blotted out by our shadow. The moon was nearer than usual, at its perigee, hanging large at the horizon which added to the red.

I wish that someone with a real camera took a series of shots to capture the strange light of the moon. I took pictures with my phone. They were lame and blurry, but I took them anyway.

I took the stupid pictures because something happened tonight, something I needed to see, to stare at, to ponder. I needed to stand quietly among strangers in an empty field, looking out over a farm with horses in their barns, a sky full of stars, and a moon that speaks of bloodshed.

I needed to try to see.

Thank you for listening, jb

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