Monday, 28 September 2015

Blood moon ramblings

There's a lunar eclipse. I'm a shitty blogger but I'm writing now anyway. Even though I've been emotionally reclusive of late I'd like to at least pretend for a moment that I exist and throw these feelings out into the proverbial aether. Maybe they'll be relevant to someone, although that someone is most likely just a later version of me.

How could I sleep on a night like this? When a monster of some enormous variety is devouring the moon and proceeds to colour it blood-red. Imagine how dramatic and terrifying this sort of event must have appeared to someone who didn't know what was going on. Someone thousands of years ago, or maybe someone very recently who doesn't have much of a grip on astronomy. Seeing the full moon turn blood-red without the assurance that it's just the moon passing through the Earth's shadow and having had all the light reaching its surface passed through the Earth's atmosphere, thus refracting only the reddest parts of the sunlight onto it.

Not that it isn't dramatic enough with this background knowledge in mind. At least to me the spectacle is every bit as spectacular and magical for knowing what's going on. Possibly even more so, since I can look at a remote cosmic event and think 'hey, I understand you', and somehow feel personally connected to it. To realise for a moment that I am a part of the Universe observing itself, and that the separation I usually feel from the surroundings of the so-called entity I imagine to be me is merely an illusion.

But maybe that's just the quasi-spiritual astronomy nerd in me talking. Maybe I'm just unreasonably over-excited. However, I withhold that our present-day knowledge about the cosmos has made celestial events, if possible, even more awe-inspiring. Now we know that we're clinging to the surface of a (cosmically speaking) insignificant speck of dust, and that our existence as self-aware clusters of particles could be ended in an instant in countless ways. Ways before which we are utterly powerless, but at best with all our magnificent science we could at least have some forewarning of our oncoming doom. Doing whatever we can to cling to a sliver of hope of survival, but deep down knowing that our ultimate fate lies in powers far beyond our control. How is that really very different from praying to or sacrificing anything which could possibly sway the will of the God(s) to save us from the inevitable cataclysm?

To me it's kind of comforting to know that some things are way beyond my control. That way I won't have to feel any more personally responsible for the death of my girlfriend or my grandmother than I do for this lunar eclipse. Instead I can laugh at life and admire its endless capacity for absurdity, and be thankful for what I've got. Instead I can look up at the sky with an unwarranted sense of hope, and continue to dream my utterly unreasonable dreams.

I feel alone at a cosmic scale
Some day I want to leave this place

Love and a blood moon,