La sombra de la luna
Ever wonder why I chose “MoonShadow” as my blog and Etsy store name. Come on, I know you have (and by “you” I mean the one person who occasionally strays across one of my posts and hurriedly leaves confused and angry that I wasted their time). I was going to preface this post with a video of Cat Stevens’ song of the same name. Although I love the song, that’s not the inspiration for the name. I was never followed by a moon shadow, I spent my time following it. “Moon shadow” refers to that which I hope to continue chasing some time in the future – a total solar eclipse.
I have witnessed a few solar eclipses and what one is watching is the shadow of the moon falling across the earth as the moon blocks the sun from our view. If you ever have the opportunity to view a total solar eclipse jump on it. I was introduced to the experience by a friend who spoke so glowingly of it that it convinced me to go along on the trip. It didn’t really take much convincing as I will take any excuse to travel. The first eclipse I witnessed was in Potosi, Bolivia. I remember being sick as a dog – between the altitude sickness and some very nasty intestinal issues I was in a sorry state. But all discomfort faded as the quality of the sunlight started to change and this otherworldly glow took over the sky that eventually turned into a darkness that is not quite night. The air chills, the birds start roosting, the world gets quiet and you are enveloped in the experience as the great disk of the sun is slowly covered by the ever-so-much smaller moon. Click on the image below to go to a Fred Espenak’s site for a great explanation and more fun facts and images. I am not a scientist. I never got one decent picture of the eclipses I experienced. A photograph does not capture it. Video does not capture it. You need to experience it. It is a like witnessing one hundred rainbows at once. A total solar eclipse makes you realize that you’re just a speck in the giant scheme that is the universe (or universes – I’m still hung-up on that parallel worlds thing of Hugh Everett). An eclipse brings home that we all live on a planet, a sphere on which we are only along for the ride and of which we have no control.
So the video I’ve chosen to demonstrate the elation of witnessing the traversing of the moon shadow is not Cat Stevens’ song, its not Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” but “Chaiyya, Chaiyya” from the Bollywood film “Dil Se.” It best describes for me the sheer joy, the energy and the happiness of witnessing the moon’s shadow. Plus it reminds me of India, a beautiful, magical country where I traveled to stand in darkness for 20 seconds (the duration of totality for that particular eclipse).