It is 2:07 a.m. and something is definitely eating the moon. We can see the slow assault from our living room window, the moon riding high in the sky, methodically being devoured by some nocturnal creature.
Or perhaps we are witness to celestial pentimento, the gods’ regret, the divine painting-over of the moon so it no longer beams itself down upon us, leaving only a delicate smudge stubbornly proclaiming its past glory. (The gods now wondering what to paint next.)
What must the benighted ancients have been thinking as they watched the heavens swallow up their moon?
3:00 a.m. The moon is a dim, red disk, reflecting the sunlight bending and streaming around the edges of the earth. As someone said, it is as if the moon is being bathed in all the earth’s sunrises and all the sunsets all at once. This is pure grist, reflections of love or portents of destruction depending if you are poet or prophet.
3:30 a.m. The mood is totally different. We watch the moon struggle to be free from the overshadowing earth. It now looks like a birth, the pale disk pushing through a translucent, ruddy placenta to once again shine white and full-bodied on the face on the deep.
The eclipse is a slowly unfolding affair.
3:50 a.m. The white edges are reasserting themselves. Before it sets, the moon will fully recover, no worse for the wear, a celebration of persistence, healing and renewal.
Soothing lessons to carry off to bed.