Saturday, December 10, 2011
running to the moon
I woke up early this morning. The moon was calling to me. I’d read yesterday that there would be a lunar eclipse. A full one. A rare one. Called the “impossible eclipse” with the eclipsed moon sinking into one horizon while the sun crests the other. I knew it would be cold and dark out, though, so I lay in bed for a while content just knowing that the eclipse was happening out there somewhere – a cosmic giveaway of sorts. Maybe I’ll just peek out the window and see if it’s there, if there’s clouds, or what. It took a while to find the moon. At this time of year it sets behind a large tree across the ravine. (It might have been a ravine once. That’s what I call it – where I live – it’s spotted with houses now but the earthly geography is still there somewhere.) After checking a few windows I found it through the branches of that big fir tree. A dusty smudge of glowing rust with one little glint of moonlight rounding out the bottom. I was going to need to go out there. It was already setting behind the ridgeline but if I could get out of the ravine quickly enough I could get a clear view. But what does one wear to an early morning moonrun and how does one quickly piece together the appropriate pieces of clothing when he is still one half asleep and the other half still drunk? The answer, is simpler than I could immediately come up with but I got to it – one wears what they’d worn the night before. So I set out for the moonrun with a wool sweater and long canvas pants, fleece cap and “magic” gloves. (“Magic” gloves probably deserve a post of their own but for now just think thin gloves.) It was very quiet and dark and cool – about 40 degrees. And deserted – 6am on a Saturday morning in December is a great time to be out in the world – and in my delirious state I was thinking to myself, I should be going running every day this early – earlier, 4am! There were some thin clouds in the sky that were threatening to cancel the show. When I first found an open clearing to the western sky I couldn’t refind the moon. Had it already set? Did I really take that long trying to get out the door? I saw a guy with a big ol’ zoom lens or was it a telescope, so I knew I wasn’t too far behind but he seemed to be packing up. Where is the horizon the lowest? To the Arroyo! Of course – sit on the edge and watch the sun light up The Angels while the Impossible Moon sinks low. The clouds had started to thin a little more and I refound the moon. It was quite dim, as moons in the shadow of their planet tend to be I suppose. But it was there and still several notches above the now lower horizon line. Sitting meditation-like on the cold stone wall overlooking my Arroyo, cooling nicely from the run with still a big warmth, the glow slowly fading into clouds and atmosphere and shadow, the moon evaporating, Rocket Man playing in my head. See you again tonight, Moon.