Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Il Sole De Luna

A week ago Friday, at lunch time, you would have found me in a tiny café in South Kensington, sipping wine with a friend before we visited the V&A ‘Magnificence of the Tsars’ exhibition. The café was called Sole de Luna, the single/lonely moon depending on your translation. I could have sat there for hours, I was in good company, the pizzas we ate were handmade and good, and we had no need to be anywhere at any particular time. I wish I could go into the whole day, but it would take me too long (but the exhibition was truly magnificent, and we also went to Evensong at Westminster Cathedral, which is strikingly beautiful- and the service was sung in latin by the choir, which sent shivers down my spine, and later still, we returned to South Kensington for a long dinner at Dino’s which included the best carbonarra I have had, several coffees and grappa for the men) and also I fear I would be distracted from my intended subject…the moon.

The moon has been cropping up again and again in my thoughts recently. A week or so ago, I came out of Danbury Library to come home, and the sky was inky, but lit up by a sliver of a crescent moon which seemed to be lit from within. Above it was a star shining brilliantly. At the time I thought that perhaps it was one of those occasions when you can see one of the planets, or some such thing, and meant to check on the internet at home, but alas, time escaped me…

Opposite the library, where I cross to catch the bus is a bank of grass, and there are yellow and purple crocuses in abundance there. The yellow crocuses, in particular, look beautiful at night. They close up slightly, and look like candles, burning through the night until morning comes again.

I learnt a trick once, to tell if the moon is waxing or waning. If it makes a ‘C’ shape, think contracting, getting smaller, waning. If it makes a ‘D’ shape, think dilating, getting bigger, waning. I like being able to look at the moon and knowing if it is in a waxing or waning phase. I also like being able to recognise a few constellations- Orion is the one I can always do, as well as the Plough and the Seven Sisters, but I would like to learn more.

The other evening, when I walked home from work, it seemed that I was walking in a world of smudges. The moon was a hazy smear against the sky, and the air was almost gauzy. Rather than being obscuring, the feeling of being veiled in shadows was really peaceful, and I felt almost insulated against the world.

Thinking back to sipping wine during a Friday lunch time at Il Sole De La Luna, and having mused on the moon for the past week, I cant help but think that it would make a lovely title for a small booklet of lunar-inspired poetry.

1 comment:

Vintage Kitten said...

Such a wonderful description of your day and of the night sky. I too would like to learn more about the constellations. Living in the country the sky is so much clearer at night than when I lived in a town, you can see hundreds of stars. Ive also noticed a few 'oddities' I see plenty of shooting stars, but one night I watched an unusual glow in the sky in the field at the back of my house for about half an hour, I have no idea what it was?