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… with my black alpaca thrown o’er meself, I’m watching it now, the lunar eclipse, with my mother’s clunky old binoculars.

How is it I awoke, without an alarm, at exactly 3:17? Exactly the moment one was told to wake up to see the thing in its prime?

And here’s this full gorgeous orange-shaded orb, surrounded by bright stars, and… a shooting star! As if the spectacle weren’t amazing enough, a shooting star just shot by the moon…


I keep going out there to sneak a peak at its copperiness, getting cold, rushing back in…

There’s a thin lighter-orange line that curves along its edges — the faintest halo — and — it’s so celestial — I’m seeing the vast smudges on its surface as angel wings…


Here’s the closest rendering I find in Google’s image stock.


Update, 3:57.

Sing it, Billie.

You’ve changed.
You’re not the orange I recall.
The moon is now a different ball.
You’ve changed.

It’s silvering up again.


No, no — now you’re gray, with an immense brightness along your crown, like a north pole, or like a sunrise.


Now the moon’s down among the clouds and the trees, and it’s just as well. So cold out there.

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5 Responses to “Freezing on my back deck…”

  1. MattF Says:

    There was a total lunar eclipse a few years ago– visible in the DC area, in the evening, and not so cold. In fact, lunar eclipses aren’t rare– and, as you might expect, Wikipedia has the whole story, including separate entries on each recent eclipse.

    I watched that one outside the Bethesda Row Barnes & Noble and explained to people about the moon first being eaten by the dragon, and then… coming out of the dragon’s other end.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    MattF: Funny – about the dragon’s other end.

    It must have been a good eclipse if you could see it clearly with all the lights of ‘thesda twinkling about you.

  3. cloudminder Says:

    it was cold and wet and cloudy here on the west coast
    decided to just check out the live NASA Ustream links
    but it didn’t hold my attention
    with your account now I’m bummed I didn’t throw open the door and go outside
    but it was so cozy inside- watched Holiday Inn – had a great sleep- priceless.
    wish it could have been like the time I watched Mars at its closest point while doing a midnight swim and 80 degrees in the wine country- talk about oranges and reds!
    Last night apparently Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted it was long and boring to him too– so, I don’t feel too bad. Glad you (in the east) got to enjoy it
    and still
    A reverence for the starry skies.
    a deep one.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Yum. Almost as good as an eclipse.

  5. University Diaries » In honor of the lunar eclipse… Says:

    […] which UD, marooned on the east coast, will not be able to see (she saw one last December), Sylvia Plath’s The Moon and the Yew Tree. Since I’m interrupting the poem with […]

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