Seeing & Looking
How can I possibly sleep this moonlit evening?
Come, my friends, Let’s sing and dance
All night long.
Colors of the moon painted my dreams, and awakened me, during a lunar eclipse in late September. Eclipsed by the earth, its pumpkin hues of orange and red transported my senses. Shining through my sleep, irradiating my bedroom, its bright sphere kept me awake through the night.
I tried to photograph it, but all efforts to portray the essence of a supermoon were in vain. Photography failed like a finger pointing at the moon, in the Zen tradition, fails to communicate the enlightenment experience.
The essence of moonlight defied space and time. It was a dance, not a photograph. Why? I am comfortable with small spaces like the aperture of my lens, and I get by managing short time periods, like those of a range of shutter speeds. But this lunar eclipse event was an experience outside the frame that transcended space and time.
Many have tried to predict earthly events by seeking the moon. These predictions are dire, they all call for "a bad moon arisin' ". Mormon leaders predicted a major earthquake would strike Utah on the night of this blood moon. This did not happen. While there was an earthquake of magnitude 2.9 in Utah, it occurred on July 29th. There have been many false prophets of moon doom.
A supermoon is a rarity. For a photographer, it is a challenge. Technical issues like making a sharp, well exposed picture are trumpeted by those who succeed. True, this takes a bit of practice. But my failures to catch the supermoon with a camera were not for technical reasons. I missed the essence. The magic of the supermoon escaped me, for I did not make the time to love it, and truly embody it. A lunar eclipse is a paradox. It is a bodily experience that has to be felt. Pondering the encounter with a supermoon, it points to something larger and timeless than my blink-in-time lifespan.
CALL ME A LUNATIC
Call me a lunatic. My nighttime dances with moonlight go on. Often in vain, I photograph the moon when I feel its presence deeply and its radiance is beyond words. So, I must make pictures even though the moon unyokes feelings that run outside of the picture frame. I can't dwell on this paradox for long. . . In the end, it's not about success or failure, it is about the pleasure of the chase. I gotta go grab the tripod now, because there is another silent full moon out tonight. I know, lunacy.
Photos and Writings by Jim Austin Jimages