By Bernie Bell
Here on Orkney, we see many examples of stunning sunrises and sunsets, and the moon does some groovy things, too. My camera isn’t strong enough to catch the moon, but Fiona-Next-Door’s, is, and she took these images of a ‘Supermoon’ through some hogweed in our garden, July 12th 2014.
Photographs by Fiona Driver
I tend to think of the ancient sites of Orkney, as being linked to, and acknowledging, the sun, and the ancient sites of Lewis, such as Calanais, as being linked to the moon, but, this week, as part of the Orkney International Science Festival, the moon, came to Orkney ( thanks to https://skyranmoon.com/ ), we went to the moon, and, this time, I caught it!
Then , I got a head-full of ‘moon’ songs:-
“Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars, let me see what spring is like, on Jupiter and Mars.”
“Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.”
“Come on all you skinheads, get up of your feet, put your braces together, and your boots on your feet, an’ give me some of that old moon-stomping.”
“Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining, shine on the one who’s gone and been untrue.”
“Well, it’s a marvellous night for a moon dance, with the stars up above in your eyes.”
“When the moon hits your eye like a big Pizza pie, that’s amore.”
“Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon. I hope my legs won’t break, walking on the moon.”
The moon, looms large in our collective consciousness. This installation also got me remembering being allowed to stay up to watch the moon landing in 1969 – my parents realised that this was something that mattered, that “one giant leap” was taking place. Though, admittedly, my Dad didn’t believe it was happening – he was sure that it was all filmed in a desert, somewhere in America. And he never altered his opinion on that. He was born in 1911, in rural Ireland – still lived by many of the ‘old ways’. The moon was something ‘else’, something way up there, out of our reach and our ken. Something you watched for what the weather might do, and the tides, and even, sometimes, the behaviour of some people you knew! Different times, and different ways. That people could go there and walk on this place which guides so much on earth, seemed not only not possible, but also not right.
Tell that to Wallace & Gromit.
And…and…and……..folk were painting stones, and making constellations on the floor……………..
And finally, our own bit of mooniness…….
https://theorkneynews.scot/ 2018/04/16/of-ponds-otters- planets/
I have not been able to return to Orkney for 3 years ( longest exile ever) … and your works here make me tear with thanks and even more yearning… Angels you are!!! thank you sooooo much for your works Shayla Spencer in Hawaii
Blimey! Thank you, Shayla. Thank you.
And I was just having a ‘wobble’ about whether folk want to read my stuff or not. The Universe, provides. This time, in the form of Shayla!
Something just occurred to me………….
I’ve been encouraging folk to go to see The Moon in Stromness Academy, saying that it could be the only time they get a chance to experience such a thing.
When the pilgrims used to come to Orkney, to see the sun in Maes Howe on the shortest day, that was probably seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, too. Maybe some, who lived locally or in what’s now known as Scotland, got the chance to go there more often, but, for many, it will have been a one-off.
I know – The Moon in Stromness Academy is man-made, but so is Maes Howe – the man-made structure enabled the event to happen. The people did see the actual light of the sun – they didn’t see the sun, but they saw it’s light, caught by the passageway of Maes Howe. In the Stromness moon, we see an ‘artificial‘ light, produced by electricity, caught in the orb. All light, is light, and we are drawn to it.
The light-bulb which just came on in my head is….a similarity between folk going to see the sunlight in Maes Howe – possibly a once in lifetime experience – and folk going to Stromness Academy to see the moon – possibly another once-in-a-life-time experience.
We still have the same yearnings – to the planets, to light, to all the things which we see as being ‘other’ than us. We have a yearning toward them, but, if you accept that all are one and one is all, then, we are one with them………. is that why?