Borrowed light

A series of cables were hooked up to the orb, as if it was all nothing more than a simple construction site. I live in Hong Kong, so I suppose, technically, there should have been unending bamboo scaffolding as well, but there wasn’t.

I noticed some faint diagrams as I looked upwards to the familiar glow. They looked like Leonardo da Vinci’s sepia-tinted Vitruvian Man drawings. No man though, just the general geometry. Someone had clearly put some thought into this. It was plotted.

And then, with no sound at all, it was drawn down like an incredibly efficient, gigantic elevator. I imagined it feeling like ice-cream that’s been refrozen. Texturally incorrect in as much as one can imagine the texture of a thing one hasn’t touched: in a state of defrosting, but still holding onto its deformed heft. Perhaps the birds it downed on the way felt a pleasantly cooling sensation as they died, crushed mid-flight.

In slow motion, it dipped into the ocean in front of me still soundless – this thing that shouldn’t and couldn’t and certainly couldn’t be made to. I should note that I didn’t seem surprised.

I turned to my husband and said quietly, now there will be waves. Big at first, and then slower and lower tides. Nothing is going to make sense. Leave aside the gravitational implications, what would become of poems and prayers and myths and silhouettes and owls and bats and hippos that forage at night if the moon really had just sunk into the waters like a melting scoop? Light from the sun used to bounce off the earth, and then bounce off the moon, and bounce back to our billions of light-perceptive eyes. In that way, earthshine and moonshine existed. Now what?

Did you ever even get to see a lunar halo?

It’s just a common illusion created due to that borrowed light being refracted through ice crystals in feathery cirrus clouds, but if you see it, you wouldn’t think it common at all.

Oneirocritical as usual, I woke up and found myself wondering if I was perimenopausal. Maybe I just ate too much ice-cream this past week, while celebrating my fortieth birthday.


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