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22nd July 2014

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The serial enigma of the dark

Evil is even, truth is an odd number and death is a full stop. When a dog barks late at night and then retires again to bed, he punctuates and gives majesty to the serial enigma of the dark, laying it more evenly and heavily upon the fabric of the mind. Sweeny in the trees hears the sad baying as he sits listening on the branch, a huddle between the earth and heaven; and he hears also the answering mastiff that is counting the watches in the next parish. Bark answers bark till the call spreads like fire through all Erin. Soon the moon comes forth from behind her curtains riding full tilt across the sky, lightsome and unperturbed in her immemorial calm. The eyes of the mad king upon the branch are upturned, whiter eyeballs in a white face, upturned in fear and supplication. His mind is but a shell.

Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds (1939)

Tagged: bookswritingliteraturemoonnightdogsIrelandIrish mythologyIrish literatureFlann O'Brien

29th December 2013

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Apollo 8 meets the Moon

As with subsequent flights, Apollo 8 bowled along sideways, like a silver rolling pin, spinning slowly to distribute the sun’s intense heat. From the craft’s angle of approach the Moon was in darkness, so for the first two days the astronauts saw only the Earth shrinking behind them and a coy black void ahead, bereft of stars and growing, until finally they were drifting engine-first around the far side, preparing for the ‘burn’ that would slow them into lunar orbit. Still they saw nothing — until suddenly and without warning an immense arc of sun-drenched lunar surface appeared in their windows and the three men got the shocks of their lives, as the ethereal disc they and the rest of humanity had known up to then revealed itself as an awesome globe, cool and remote, without sound or motion, magisterial but issuing no invitation whatsoever. So shocked were the crew that Commander Borman was forced to rein in their excitement for the sake of the burn, and while the astronauts have forgotten much about the journeys they took, none has any trouble recalling this dramatic moment: indeed, those who are temperamentally disposed to acknowledging fear will tell you that it was an eerie and intimidating sight, which the crew of Apollo 8 seemed haunted by. Upon their return, they described a forbidding and inhospitable world. It was the Earth that sang to them from afar.

Andrew Smith, Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth

Tagged: spacemoonbookstravelexplorationastronomysciencespace explorationapollo 8Andrew SmithMoondust

26th July 2013

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Moon mood

Moon mood

Tagged: filmsmoviesscience fictionMoonrobotsGERTYmoodsmiley

9th April 2013

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William Kentridge, Journey to the Moon (2003)

Tagged: videoanimationartmoonWilliam Kentridge

13th April 2012

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The Night Will Never Stay

The night will never stay,
The night will still go by,
Though with a million stars
You pin it to the sky;

Though you bind it with the blowing wind
And buckle it with the moon,
The night will slip away
Like sorrow or a tune.

Eleanor Farjeon

Tagged: poetryEleanor Farjeonnightstarswindmoon

26th February 2012

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Cat in Moonlight

Through moonlight’s milk
She slowly passes
As soft as silk
Between tall grasses.
I watch her go
So sleek and white,
As white as snow,
The moon so bright
I hardly know
White moon, white fur,
Which is the light
And which is her.

Douglas Gibson

Tagged: poetrycatsmoonmoonlightDouglas Gibsonnature poetry