The Blood Moon

Last night I tackled one wall of my bedroom in an accent color, a cool blue-grey. I rushed home, changed, went to home depot and chose colors that I thought would look good and painted the accent wall. Then my brother came over and we went to the gym for a couple of hours. When we got home, it was around 10 pm. Right away, my mind was on the eclipse I had read about earlier in the day. It was supposed to start in about an hour, so I had a little time to get my camera set-up.

I then set up a good stool, and a tripod with my camera, locked it all down, and started taking a series of pics to capture the blood moon.

Here are the pics. The last couple with the red are my favorites. I shot this with my EPL-1, adapted for an old Minolta DX telephoto lens. Fun!

Looking at the moon always makes me think of the ocean. Sailors out on the water on a full moon, singing to her, being pulled by her forces and the tides all over the word. Fishermen working through the night, watching the moon rise and fall the way most of us watch the sun. I think about the shadows cast by full moons in my memories, one in particular up in the San Gabriel Mountains. We were camping and when the full moon set, it suddenly became extremely cold. If you got out in the moonlight, you could feel the warmth, and you could cast a strong shadow by the light also, being so far insulated from the city lights. It felt like magic, standing there absorbing moon rays, and knowing the light and warmth had bounced off the moon.

I also think about it’s effect on us today, how two people looking up at the same moon, sharing that experience, are connected. How the eyes looking up at the moon are taking in the same light, and if the two people allow themselves, they can really share something there. (Okay, kick Back  Fievel Mousekewitz) It’s magical, and yes perhaps a little corny, but I really do believe in that connection.

The feeling I got as I watched the moon fade away was incredible. As far back as history can record, and much much further, the world has been staring up at the moon. Trying to think of the wonders, stories, myths, legends and even Gods that the moon has conjured up is truly humbling. I wondered about how the Greek astronomers knew how to predict them and used them for their own purposes, using them as markers of their prowess and influence with the Gods. Indicators of what Gods were feeling.

I don’t know if the Mayans or Aztecs could accurately predict eclipses. People think they may have, and used them to their own purposes. Convincing their people that the wise men knew better, and were more in touch with the universe. The Spaniards liked burning the “Heathens” documents, so not much survived, but the art and the legends do indicate it was a hugely important part of everyday life for them. That was less than 600 years ago, and that is in my blood.

Most of us have a much better understanding of what’s going on up there, than anybody on Earth did 2000 years ago, (Well, maybe?) and the “cosmic dance” still drops my jaw to the floor. Knowing what we know, and being aware of the limits of our knowledge, I still wonder why it all happens. Why gravity works and who put it there. Events like this eclipse, letting us watch these giant spheres dance in space, and come so close on the universal scale, but allowing us enough time to evolve and become what we are, really make me wonder what the odds are like?

Does anybody really know?

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