28 July 2018

the blood moon

At 5:30 am I open the patio door and it is almost cool outside, the butterflies are feeding on the buddleia and the sweet william. I kneel in front of the blueberry bush and pick today's harvest, the young blackbirds are flying in and out of the vines, dropping grapes and generally making lots of noise. The rainwater tanks are empty, there are brown patches all over lawn and last night, like every night just after sunset, I pointed the hose to the roots of a thirsty plant and counted to 50 before moving on to the next plant. R put a black mesh cover over the greenhouse.
I make tea and set the table for breakfast outside. We are grumpy, relearning how to sleep on hot nights. I eventually pushed a mattress below the wide open windows of the front room some time after 2 am and fell into a deep sleep with a faint breeze washing over me. R stayed in the cool basement, dark concrete, surrounded by tool boxes and a faint smell of motor oil and white spirit.
So far, the house is pleasantly cool, so far, it's all a matter of when to close up and let down the blinds, opening up at night and readjusting your pace. The solar panels on the roof are providing all the energy we need and much more right now, we'll be rich, R tells me after reading the meters for the feed-in to the grid. I stop switching off the fans.
Over breakfast we talk about sleeping outside tonight, thinking about the insects and the cats and how to fix the mosquito net and we know it's just too much hassle.
There are fat peaches ripening, purple plums, apples, pears, figs.
Pinto beans, runner beans, beetroot, radish, tiny carrots, tomatoes and peppers, courgettes to feed the world, pumpkins as big as footballs.
On the radio a government minister talks about asylum tourism, in Austria, an elected politician wants Jews to be registered and in Italy, the first Roma camp sites are raided at dawn.
My sick cert is extended for another two weeks, my GP sighs when I tell her that I work from home.
She looks exhausted, too.
After dinner we make our way down to the river, R sets up the tripod right on the water's edge.
I open my flask of milky tea and listen to the conversations around me, children run with dogs and when the waves from a a large passing cargo barge wash too close, there is a lot of running and laughing.
It is dark and still very hot, sweat is running down my back.
At first we don't see her, so faint, almost grey but once our eyes adjust, there she is, massive, round, red, la luna, the moon.



13 comments:

  1. although we were not in the path of the eclipse the moon rose full and red here as well. I loved sleeping out under the night sky when I was doing the river guide thing. it is high summer here and only tolerable until about 8:30 AM.

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  2. Your words put me there.

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  3. What a glorious time of the year.

    I am beyond disgusted by this talk of registering Jews and raiding Roma camps. Have we learned nothing?

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  4. Thank you for bringing us along to the river to witness the blood moon after another hot day in your home and fertile garden. I just watched "Human Flow" by Ai Weiwei. Now I'm wondering how many people in refugee camps throughout Europe looked up to see that moon.

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    1. What an amazing film that was. The fact that it had hardly any commentary gave power to the relentless flow of images of all kinds of refugee experience all over the world. The only thing that has fully conveyed the sheer size of the problem to me.

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  5. Here's a link to the video about Ohiyesa, if you haven't found it already:

    https://www.pbs.org/video/ohiyesa-soul-of-an-indian-vgjujd/

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  6. A nice post, and I'm glad you saw the moon. Here in London we had the first cloudy night for weeks, so it was nowhere to be seen!

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  7. I love your photo of the moon. It has been so foggy here... day after day after day. I hardly look up at the sky anymore. I haven't seen a moonrise in ages. Your heat sounds like the heat that is driving the wildest of wildfires here burning over the mountains about 150 miles from us. I can't even read the words "wants Jews to be registered..." without smouldering and getting ready to lash out as hot as the flames scorching our earth. ENOUGH.

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    1. This Austrian right-wing politician knows quite well that his country's constitution would never allow his proposal to become law. The vicious intention behind this is to pretend he could do it so that the idea settles in the minds of the people who listen to him. If this results in racial attacks, he will shrug his shoulders. Nothing to do with him. But he has created the mindset. And that is what he wants to achieve.

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  8. All I can say about this post is...oh my god.
    A poem in all ways.

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  9. I often feel a little schizophrenic, living in the sweetness of my immediate world, these people i love, this work I love, this city i love, and knowing that it exists within a vile macrocosm where ministers here and there want such evil imaginings to flourish in people's hearts, and bloom into violence. I imagine the blood moon looking down on us weeping fat red tears.

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  10. I had an argument today with my own mother about plastic in the ocean, and do you know that she insists on some "fake" photograph of a polar bear on melting ice, a photo that she insists was doctored and therefore all this talk of climate change is doctored? My own mother. I don't know what to think -- must, I guess, keep repeating the truth. It's all so fucked up -- and having literal family, i.e. those whom I LOVE at such cross purposes is such a grim emblem of the world in general.

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