As many of you know, we here on Earth enjoyed a Lunar Eclipse last night. This one was extra-special, because conditions were such that if you were fortunate enough to see this phenomenon in all its glory, you would supposedly see the great, big, lovely full Moon essentially turn blood-red. Like this:
I’m using someone else’s photo here because I don’t have one of my own like this. I don’t have one of my own like this for two reasons:
1) I did set my alarm so that my bedside clock would wake me at some unholy hour in the middle of the night, and it did actually wake me, and I did actually get out of bed and go outside… Unfortunately, when I got there, the Moon wasn’t turning red from where I stood out back behind my house — it was just turning black, like in your more garden-variety, “bloodless” eclipses. I still would have taken a photo of that, though, except for the fact that:
2) Neither my iPhone nor my actual camera would yield up decent shots of the Moon. If I were to post the attempts that have now been deleted, all you’d see would be various renderings of a vague bright blur hanging there in the middle of a patch of otherwise black sky. The partially eclipsed crescent of the Moon that was still visible didn’t even show up as a crescent in these abortive “photos” — it was just this indistinct glowing blob, kind of like the thing that Steve McQueen eventually dispatched in that old horror movie, if it had swallowed a floodlight or two. Nothing I got was even worth posting.
This experience, then, helps me to draw several conclusions (and to trot out a second numbered list in one post!):
1) I might need a new camera.
2) I might need a new iPhone.
3) I may not be destined to replace Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz as a public synonym for “photographer.”
4) I failed to get a good shot of the Blood Moon last night…but if you do a search on the internet for all of about twelve milliseconds, you’ll find offerings from thousands of people who did get some dynamite pics of the event. Which suggests to me that maybe part of the message of this particular eclipse is that despite the fact that our collective sense of emotional security (= astrological Moon stuff!) has been taking a beating for some time now (war, harsh economic realities, terror, beheadings, political unrest, poverty, inequality…), we can maybe try to focus on the fact that we’re all incredibly similar organisms at the heart of it all, and that we can still rely on each other to fill in the blanks in our own lives in a lot of ways. Maybe the Blood Moon doesn’t say, “There will be blood!!” in ominous tones of doom; maybe it says, “You’re all of the same blood…so start acting like it, dammit!” That’s how I think I want to interpret it, anyway…