This morning, Buddy woke up first and sat next to me so I would know he was there. I reached out to pat his head, then slowly emerged from my nighttime cocoon. Perhaps he knew before I, that something was happening outside and we needed to be present to it. No, not the sunrise. It was too early for that. It was the moon being eclipsed and it had already started. As I stepped out onto the porch in the cold, dark morning air, I could see it sitting low on the horizon. I knew I had at least a half hour to watch the darkness spread across its face.
Just as I wished I could call Coleman to remind him (my son who also loves these celestial events), the phone rang. I ran inside, and it was him, calling to tell me! We hung up quickly so we could stay present to what was happening. I walked back outside to the apple trees beneath my kitchen window, the place where so much seems to happen, and got still, very still for a few minutes. As I stood there quietly watching the changing face of the moon, I recalled a Camus quote I had written in a notebook a few nights ago:
She was breathing deeply, she forgot the cold, the weight of beings, the insane static life, the lone languish of living or dying. After so many years running from fear, fleeing crazily, uselessly, she was finally coming to a halt. At the same time she seemed to be recovering her roots, and the sap rose anew in her body, which was no longer trembling. Pressing her whole body against the parapet, leaning toward the wheeling sky, she was only waiting for her pounding heart to settle down, and for the silence to form in her. The last constellations of stars fell in bunches a little lower on the horizon of the desert, and stood motionless. Then, with an unbearable sweetness, the waters of the night began to fill her, submerging the cold, rising, gradually to the center of her being, and overflowing wave upon wave to her moaning mouth. A moment later, the whole sky stretched out above her as she lay with her back against the cold earth.
~ Albert Camus
As the eclipse slowly covered more of the moon, I lay down under the bare branches of the birch tree, against the shadowy, dark roots spreading beneath it, closed my eyes and felt the cold earth against my back. I could almost sense the movement, the slow tilting away, as the moon fell below the horizon and out of sight, leaving the total eclipse to those further to the west.
Note: The title is taken from a wonderful Milan Kundera novel titled, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, about two men, two women, and a dog, in the Prague Spring of 1968.
Image: "Fantasy II" by Joseph Cornell
I got up, bundled against the cold, to look for the eclipse. I did finally find it as the fog cleared just long enough for me to watch the last light leave the moon. Then the fog covered it again. I went out hoping for a glimpse a bit later, but I didn't see anything more. My one puny attempt at a picture isn't much, but at least I have a picture of the last light leaving the bottom of the moon.ReplyDelete
I wish I had caught this,I never saw anything about it.ReplyDelete
Oh, DJan, You're the first person I thought of when I posted this, and here you are! Good morning, and Happy Eclipse!ReplyDelete
For all of my good intentions, I slept through it, drags! But your post brought me there. Thank you!ReplyDelete
A Happy Eclipse Teresa! At Such Times, I Always Think Of David Niven's Words 'The Moon's A Ballon' !ReplyDelete
Steve, I'm sorry you missed it. Ditto to Kittie. These things are always so fun and even inspiring.ReplyDelete
Tony, And Happy Weekend! Thanks for the Niven reminder! Cool cat, he was.
We had just enough fog to defuse my view almost totally. I have seen eclipses before so just had to use my imagination while to imagine the beautiful sight that was taking place just beyond my view. So glad you got to watch.ReplyDelete
Annie, Thank you. I'm still salivating over the image of those ginger muffins you posted. Yummy!ReplyDelete
Wow, I totally spaced out the eclipse. No wonder last night was so weird. I haven't read the book but I've seen the movie. Great post, T. Thanks for this.ReplyDelete
You're most welcome, Will.ReplyDelete
Sigh... another thought provoking post... ;) love itReplyDelete
I slept through it, no surprise, but now I've gotten to experience it through you, and with a Camus passage besides! I like the way you, and the quote, embraced the cold. I haven't quite achieved that yet. Have a lovely weekend!ReplyDelete
Carolyn, thanks so much.ReplyDelete
Nancy, I'm really appreciating your recent comments, both the one on the Kerouac post and this one. I hope you're having a good weekend, too.
How I wish I had witnessed the eclipse, Teresa. There was one so many years ago now when our children were small that I stayed up for. It started on the 4th of July and went into the early hours of the 5th. It was so magical for me. The full moon rising up over the horizon this evening was breathtaking. We were out in the car, heading home, and it was if something let go of a bright orangy ball. Somehow last night's eclipse is supposed to have effected tonight's.ReplyDelete
Oh, poo! I didn't know about it and was up all night. Might have been too cloudy, but I'll never know. Thank goodness you gave me a taste of cold ground and dark sky...and poetry. :)ReplyDelete
Hi Penny, Well, I don't know for certain, but I'm guessing that's true, cause it's been one wacky (in a good way) day. Nothing like a moon on the rise....ReplyDelete
Rita, Oh poo? Oh Poo? That's all ya got? ;) Well, the skies to the west, for me, were perfectly clear. Not to be rubbing it in or anything.
It was nice. I'm acclimating.
Slept right through it here on the Big Island. It wouldn't have been too late (or early), either, in this time zone.ReplyDelete
Linda, "Here on the Big Island." Those are words I've never said. That sounds like fun. Can't say what it would have been like over there but pretty much the full eclipse or shortly thereafter. I got almost half before it disappeared over the horizon.ReplyDelete
"The Big Island." Sheeesh. ;)
I wanted to see that but early in the evening clouds settles in and covered the sky here. How thoughtful of your son to call!ReplyDelete
Yes, it was. I love being able to share these things with my children.ReplyDelete
And I'm grateful Buddy woke up early and got me out there.
I love the Einstein quote. Simply awesome.ReplyDelete
Hi Will, Isn't that a great quote? He was a very spiritual man. Where science, i.e. quantum physics, and spirituality meet is where it's at for me.ReplyDelete
I, too, missed the eclipse. Thank you for sharing your experience of it.
The quote from Camus was a picture painted with telling words. Thank you for that too.
And for the image.
This was--is--a lovely post.
Thank You, Dee.ReplyDelete
Beautiful imagery. As you know, I have an unusual relationship with the moon. There is a good movie made from the book by Kundera and I love the excerpt from Camus. Just a beautiful post by the peerless Teresa Evangeline.ReplyDelete
Thank You. Very Much.ReplyDelete
Goodnight Cletis. Goodnight Moon. :)