Miracle. All of it.

As the entire duration of an eclipse, partial phases and all, embraces two or three hours, often for an hour after “first contact” insects still chirp in the grass, birds sing, and animals quietly continue their grazing. But a sense of uneasiness seems gradually to steal over all life. Cows and horses feed intermittently, bird songs diminish, grasshoppers fall quiet, and a suggestion of chill crosses the air. Darker and darker grows the landscape. […]

Then, with frightful velocity, the actual shadow of the Moon is often seen approaching, a tangible darkness advancing almost like a wall, swift as imagination, silent as doom. The immensity of nature never comes quite so near as then, and strong must be the nerves not to quiver as this blue-black shadow rushes upon the spectator with incredible speed. A vast, palpable presence seems overwhelming the world. The blue sky changes to gray or dull purple, speedily becoming more dusky, and a death-like trance seizes upon everything earthly. Birds, with terrified cries, fly bewildered for a moment, and then silently seek their night quarters. Bats emerge stealthily. Sensitive flowers, the scarlet pimpernel, the African mimosa, close their delicate petals, and a sense of hushed expectancy deepens with the darkness. An assembled crowd is awed into absolute silence almost invariably… Often the very air seems to hold its breath for sympathy; at other times a lull suddenly awakens into a strange wind, blowing with unnatural effect.

Then out upon the darkness, grewsome but sublime, flashes the glory of the incomparable corona, a silvery, soft, unearthly light, with radiant streamers, stretching at times millions of uncomprehended miles into space, while the rosy, flaming protuberances skirt the black rim of the Moon in ethereal splendor. It becomes curiously cold, dew frequently forms, and the chill is perhaps mental as well as physical.

Suddenly, instantaneous as a lightning flash, an arrow of actual sunlight strikes the landscape, and Earth comes to life again, while corona and protuberances melt into the returning brilliance, and occasionally the receding lunar shadow is glimpsed as it flies away with the tremendous speed of its approach.

~ Mabel Loomis ToddTotal Eclipses of the Sun, Vol. 1 (1894)


Notes:

  • Post Inspired by:  “An eclipse is just an eclipse, of course. It won’t solve America’s deepening dysfunctions. But perhaps, in drawing so many together, it can offer a reminder of common bonds long forgotten. As millions of Americans look up, if only momentarily, from their phones, maybe they can also look beyond the pettiness of so much of their politics. Among a crowd of strangers gazing at the unnerving splendor above, they might find a brief moment of grace.” ~ Bloomberg View, excerpt from The Meaning of the Eclipse (August 18, 2017) (Thank you Make Believe Boutique)
  • Mabel Loomis Todd Quote: Brainpickings
  • Photograph: A solar eclipse on Nov. 14, 2012, seen from Palm Cove, Australia. Credit – Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images (9 Eclipses, 4 Continents, Never Tired of the Spectacle, NY Times, August 19, 2017)
  • Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.

Miracle. All of it.


Notes:

Breathe into me

peyto-lake-full-moon-banff-canada

At night I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its
face against mine.
Breathe into me.

~ Jalaluddin Rumi, excerpt from “Some Kiss We Want” in A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings by Coleman Barks

 


Photo of full moon over Peyto Lake by Cath Simard. Peyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. Don’t miss her other shots of Banff here.

SuperMoon

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“On Monday, 14 November, the moon will be the biggest and brightest it has been in more than 60 years. So long as the sky is clear of clouds, it should be a great time to get outside and gaze at it or take some photos…At 8:09PM GMT, the moon will pass by the Earth at a distance of 356,511km – the closest it has passed the Earth since 1948. As it does so, it will be a full moon, making it a particularly big supermoon. Supermooons are roughly 30% larger in area and 30% brighter than the smallest full moons – full moons that happen when the moon is at its furthest distance from Earth: at “apogee”. In terms of diameter – the width of the moon – it will be about 14% wider than the smallest full moons. (Read more at The Guardian: Supermoon science: November 2016 moon biggest and brightest in 60 years)


Art: Dark Hall Mansion

If you live to be very old, you may see twelve hundred full moons

One world trade center

If you live to be very old, you may see twelve hundred full moons. Some come in winter and you trudge out into the deep snow to stand beneath their glow. Others come to you in the city and you take an elevator up to the roof of the highest building and set out a couple of folding chairs to watch it glide across the sky. Or the moon finds you along a foreign shore and you paddle out in some dingy and scoop its reflection from the waters and drink it down. The moons of your old age are the most potent but seem few and far between. They make their way into your marrow and teach it how to hum. When your final moon arrives, it’s as if youth has come back to you. Though instead of flaunting its yellow hat, now it’s dressed in black.

~ David Shumate, “An Inventory of Moons” from Kimonos in the Closet


Notes:

Lunette


Mesmerizing…

I’m listening.

moon-full-moon

There are many such assignments one can give. When Janet Fout’s daughter was a little girl, the two of them used to spend time together out of doors, playing and inventing nature games. My own favorite was listening for the sounds they could not hear, which Fout called “The Sounds of a Creature Not Stirring.” Examples might include: sap rising, snowflakes forming and falling, sunrise, moonrise, feathers, dew on the grass, a seed germinating, an earthworm moving through the soil, an apple ripening, wood petrifying, a spider weaving its web, a leaf changing colors, a salmon spawning.

~ Christian McEwen, World Enough & Time


Notes:

Lice? Hmmm. The rest? Zen Mastery.

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Ryokan was a Zen master, hermit, calligrapher, and poet. He was known for his great kindness – he would pick lice out of his robe, place them outside so that they could get some sun and then later put them back into his robe. He smiled continuously, and people said that when he visited they felt “as if spring had come on a dark winter’s day.” He took the name “Great Fool” for himself. When a thief stole his few simple possessions, he wrote this famous haiku:

The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window.

Roderick MacIver


Notes:

 

I do not dare breathe / Or move

harvest-moon-wheat

The moon drops one or two feathers into the field.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
There they are, the moon’s young, trying
Their wings. […]
I stand alone by an elder tree, I do not dare breathe
Or move.
I listen.
The wheat leans back toward its own darkness,
And I lean toward mine.

The light or lack of light is running you. You are the animal, moving and being moved.

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Sometimes the natural world takes your power, as it does deep in February, when every fiber of your being wants to hibernate. Sometimes it bestows you with power you never imagined you could possess, as it does during the peak of summer, when you don’t need much sleep, and you feel like you’re riding along with all of the motions of the universe. Sometimes it terrifies you with its awesome brutality, as when you are driving alone on a mountain pass and encounter a blustery springtime blizzard. Just as there are receptors in the brain for drugs—like THC and psilocybin—I like to think we have receptors for nature as well. We may believe we are run by our thoughts and anxieties, our urges and our choices, but come to a place like Montana and you will be reminded that the moon is running you. The sun is running you. The light or lack of light is running you. You are the full moon. You are the rushing river. You are the animal, moving and being moved.

Amanda Fortini, The Great Surrender


Image via Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

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