Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So said Elia Kazan, actor director, playwright, and novelist. Kazan was famous for his visual daring, and so I would imagine he’d be blown away by the stellar performance of the moon, our most versatile celestial actor, pulling off a disciplined performance, a full, stately and slow lunar eclipse, the likes of which our world has not seen in some 350 years, and it happened in the wee hours Tuesday morning December 21, ushering in the winter solstice.
The best seating for the grand spectacle in our backyard was in the darkest corner, beneath the Australian pine tree, hidden away from glaring street lamps and the white reflections of Christmas decorations floating in the lake. We crept there with our chairs and passed the binoculars round and round and put out cell calls to interested parties and shot frame after frame of the action, much to the disgust of an anhinga whose single loud squawk surely meant, “down in front.”
As the silver moon turned the deep shade of an overripe tangerine, clearly visible to the naked eye, a deep orange blush, an expression of love from the world’s shyest guy.
The supporting cast was wonderful. The big dipper, usually so full of himself, lay prostrate, bowl overturned in a posture of complete and worshipful submission. Just offstage, Orion, the archer, served as a heavenly impresario saluting the moon’s greatest performance with a silent nod and a still wave of his arm.