Monday, May 14, 2012
I sped over the Isle of Palms connector bridge to the island. I had vowed that even if the moon had risen and peeked over the buildings I wouldn't look until my toes hit the sand.
I fed the meter it's dollar and headed down the wooden public access planks at a good clip. My gait ended in a snails pace as a man guided his mother up the small incline. It was an obvious role reversal, contrast of life. She had no doubt held his hands tightly as he took his first steps and crossed roads and now he returned the caring. She minced her steps and he held her arm firmly. I was glad that I was behind them and wouldn't have sped on for the world. I shared in her son's reward when I heard her exclaim as she saw the peregrine moon before I did. "Oh my!" she stopped mid stride. Her son watched her face smiling and then guided her to the side railing. I stepped over to share her view at the exact second that the moon inched into the horizon. And there it was, a thin red line stretching over the horizon. Growing by the second and changing hues from red to yellow. In minutes it was casting a beam of iridescent light over the waves. The extremely high tide had forced everyone to crowd onto the narrow strip of unscathed surf beach. This lent an air of event as we all stood crowded in the narrow swath between the waves washing in and the few feet of embankment.
Scores of people still swam in the tide at dusk. The light of the moon called to their carefree spirit, thankfully without a hungry fish feeding. I walked backwards as I was leaving, not able to take my eyes off of the phenomenon. Two granddaughters’ did the same with me last year in March at the super moon. Driving back home over the bridge, I concluded that I am indeed dangerous in situations of extreme beauty. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to watch the sunset out of my front windshield or the moonrise out of the back and contemplated a u-turn at the bottom of the hill to do it all over again.
Once home I plug in my camera to download the pics. I was shocked at the tiny white ball that replaced the yellow gargantuan moon hovering over the pier that I left. I can understand that I am light-years away and the image would not show without proper magnification lens. But shouldn't the picture at least portray what my eyes had seen? I began questioning my perception. Which I have been told I should do anyway for years. I scroll through other pics of items in horizon that I had taken recently, they were all in proportion to what I had viewed. So I did the old google search.
According to Wikipedia "For over 100 years, research on the Moon Illusion has been conducted by vision scientists who invariably have been psychologists specializing in human perception. After reviewing the many different explanations in their 2002 book The Mystery of the Moon Illusion, Ross and Plug conclude "No single theory has emerged victorious. The Moon illusion is an optical illusion in which the Moon appears larger near the horizon than it does while higher up in the sky. This optical illusion also occurs with the sun and star constellations. It has been known since ancient times, and recorded by numerous different cultures. The explanation of this illusion is still debated."
Hmmm...Maybe I need to open the receptors to the illusions of the spiritual world that I live in while here on earth. Those moments when the veil is lifted and I'm left to wonder at the unexplainable. We are not earthly beings living in a material world. We are spiritual beings living in a spiritual world. Eternity is a curtain away, maybe we can slide back the curtains more by allowing ourselves to believe that we don't see everything, we don't know everything and wonder is a bliss. In doing so we could possibly unclog receptors that would allow us to participate in more of life's tantalizing experiences. What else am I perceiving to be factual in the universe that may be skewed by my perception. Did the man beside me see the same moon? What if what I see is only what my eyes tell my brain to comprehend? That leaves a whole lot to imagination! Maybe the colors of life would become such prisms of clarity that a rainbow only suggest it's many hues. Maybe I'm thinner than the mirror says. But I'm incredibly comforted by words and phrases like inconclusive, debatable, undetermined. I don't want to know the answers to every little thing about this universe. I will happily transcend from here to there in my chimera's.