Monday, 28 September 2015

lunar eclipse: viewed from a rooftop in bruxelles, 28th september 2015

at 2h, armed with camera, guitar, cushion, blanket, some candles and a cup of tea, i climb out on to the roof of my home. the night is calm and fresh. i spot the moon sitting brightly above the church on the horizon, set up the camera pointing at it and wrap myself in the blanket. tonight's full moon will be eclipsed in two hours.

i hear voices drift up from the porte de hal, below - the final few steps of a weekend's partying, by the sound of it! as they shout and bang away into the distance, they are replaced by a burst of police sirens and city noise - why so loud at this time of night? i play quietly, all the same, so as not to further disturb the neighbours. i expected to be greeted by a city of people on the rooftops to witness this mornings full lunar eclipse, but i appear to be alone.... the city calms...

the moon has a pale blue hue and a lovely halo surrounding it - well, more of a misty aura than a halo, but it looks heavenly! the sky is clear, except for this light layer of humidity. i play a couple of songs, then take a photo and continue like this until about 3h30, when my neighbour's bedroom lights up. i hear a shuffle and hope to see someone appear at the window - it would be nice to share this moment with someone, not just the thought of an interworld of people, each going at it alone!

i sip my tea, no one arrives... i play another pair of songs!
i'm learning a bunch of old soul songs at the moment, as i finish mixing my band's album - i run around the repertoire... i hear a whoop and applause at the end of "dark end of the street", so i know i am no longer alone.

the moon remains blue, but the aura has gentle specks of red and yellow appearing in its edges.

i go to make a second cup of tea, and when i return, the dark side of the moon is a glowing dark desert brown - a spectacular colour. a small breeze picks up and the sky begins to flash with people taking photos of nature's dance.

the eclipse was announced for 4h11, it is almost 4h. the sky is clear now; the aura is gone... the sun's light is almost entirely absent from the moon's surface, only the refracted desert red remains. a dog barks... the last time i saw an eclipse this clear, was the solar eclipse of 1999: i travelled to the boglands outside edinburgh. for that event, the world went entirely dark at around 11am and all the animals responded in chorus - this lunar eclipse is almost mute!

a light cloud builds once again around the moon, cradling it as its blue hue returns... the first of the mornings airplanes and the urban sirensong fill the sky. my eyes are heavy now, and the fingernail clipping has grown too bright for my camera to capture so i collect my belongings and make for bed. i meet my house-mate getting up to watch the end of the eclipse and the rise of the dawn as i retire to dream.