Saturday, March 3, 2018

Urban moons - 2

This is also: Particles of deep topography nr. 32.

I am fascinated by the moon observed from city streets. This is an imperfect observation. There is light pollution and rooftops get in the way. Streetlights and billboards mingle with the sky objects. But I like this imperfection. I'm happy with the reflections of sunlight from office windows and with multiple moons as seen through glass. Almost as strange as lost Carcosa.
The conjunction of a streetlamp, the moon and Jupiter.
Rotterdam evening on 19 December 2013, 21:28.
Along the shore the cloud waves break, The twin suns sink behind the lake, The shadows lengthen In Carcosa. 
Strange is the night where black stars rise, And strange moons circle through the skies, But stranger still is Lost Carcosa. 
Songs that the Hyades shall sing, Where flap the tatters of the King, Must die unheard in Dim Carcosa. 
Song of my soul, my voice is dead, Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed, Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.
The Song of Lost Carcosa
Often the moon can be seen in conjunction with other bodies, most often Venus and Jupiter. Saturn is also prominent but Mars is often too dim to be visible. Often you can see the path of the ecliptic through the sky. Multiple heavenly bodies are beautiful even if they're artificial and imaginary. Like the poem by Cees Buddingh.
Moon, Venus and Jupiter in morning sky of Rotterdam.
9 December 2015, 7:30 - Mars is also there, but invisible in the photograph
The lamp above my table
mirrors itself twice
in the panes of my bay window.
Like motionless, cream-coloured celestial bodies
they hang above my Banka Street
invisible to those who walk beneath them.
Visible / invisible - by Cees Buddingh, a Dutch poet from Dordrecht  
My moon fascination may have started early. I remember walking with my father through the city streets of Prague, the full moon high above the houses. Even though I was close to a trusted figure, the whole scene filled me with fear and awe. I still have it sometimes, but (alas) not as intensely anymore. The sensation is comparable to looking at a De Chirico painting.
A ring around the moon in the center of Rotterdam.
Moon above a frozen Rotterdam park lake.
31 October 19:00 - 1 January 2009, 17:40
Above them, the moon is round and bright; but its brightness is of a dull sort, like the flat whiteness that appears in the spaces of complex designs embellishing the page of a book. 
They are staring into the blackness where the other one has disappeared. Around them, crisscrossing shafts of tall grasses; above them, the moon is round and bright.
Noctuary (Thomas Ligotti)
While studying in Delft I spent the evening with a friend and we had a philosophical discussion about consciousness and perception. It was night and it was dark outside. At one point he said:
Now if you looked out of this window and saw a huge luminous face in front of it - you wouldn't know what to make of it - because it's outside of your normal experience.
I was scared and fascinated by this image and I drove home extra quickly on my bicycle. The full moon didn't help to calm me. And even now I get slight shivers when I think about it - especially when I have to cross unknown dark hallways at night.
The moon above trees on the outskirts of the city.
Rotterdam evening on 16 September 2009, 19:46.
... the thinnest blade of moon which seemed to belong to this town as it belonged to no other place on earth ... 
... I could see the moon shining between the close rooftops, and I thought that it subtly shifted phases before my eyes, bloating a bit into fullness. The doctor caught me staring. 
"It's not going haywire up there, if that's what is bothering you."  
"But it seemed to be changing." 
Grimscribe (Thomas Ligotti)
Accepted theory is that the moon was created in a collision between the proto-earth and another planetoid. The molten material formed the earth-moon system. The light (molten) material escaped to form the moon, the heavy elements settled to form the earth.
The conjunction of a streetlamp, the moon and Jupiter.
Rotterdam evening on 9 September 2009, 21:03.
The wind picked up and a torn kite struggled to free itself from the clutches of an elm across the street. Above the trees the October sky remained lucid, as if a glossy veneer had been applied across the night. The moon brightened to a teary gleam, while voices below waned.
Noctuary (Thomas Ligotti)
alexandra lethbridge

About this series - Over the years I've collected many place descriptions. It's a waste to keep them on my harddisk. So I'll publish them from time to time. I will add some pictures when suitable.
Enhanced and amplified topographies can be found in a broad range of literature. The best ones link to metaphysics or mysticism and (pre-) load the landscape with unexpected layers, sheets, slabs and strata of meaning. We can appropriate all this work to enrich our everyday surroundings.
Previous posts are 1:The paranoid method, 2:Rooftops and sacrifices, 3:Oil and electricity, 4:Sewing machines, 5:Rooftops and apparitions, 6:Woods, 7:Mushrooms, 8:Formlessness (2d), 9:Formlessness (3d), 10:Autumn, 11:Monsters and mad scientists, 12:Empty spaces, 13:Stars and planets, 14:Addiction against emptiness, 15:Suggestive vagueness, 16: Ominous places and books, 17: Military technology, 18: Ominous telephones, 19: Observation, 20: History distortion, 21: Spy stories, 22: Dead places, 23: Mannequins, 24: Secret walks, 25: Stories, 26: Other dimensional portraits, 27: Mysterious fragments, 28a: Dino Buzzati, 28b: Mushrooms, 29, 30, 31, 32: Carcosa moons.


  1. Intriguing observations about the moon. :)

    1. Thanks. That celestial object never ceases to fascinate us.