Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Observations of Moonlight
By: Ken La Rive

There has been a full moon from dusk tonight that lights up everything out here, including my imagination। The many production platforms in South Marsh Island Block 73, as well as several work boats moored, mix the gold of tungsten, the blues of soda lamps, and combine with the silver of moonlight to make a dazzling display on the heaving water. My mind wonders, and I grow quite spellbound.

Last night I went up on the heliport, and laid on the deck awhile, just looking at the heavens। There was a great canopy of high salmon clouds, frosted silver by the moon. The sky was so beautiful, it took my breath away. So high, it vaulted in patterns and swirls of ice crystals, and mist. It brought back some long forgotten night, and some feelings of excitement lost deep in my subconscious memory.

So bright was the moon that I could barely distinguish the surface, and the stars were extinguished with only the very foremost showing. A rainbow ring occurred close to the rim, and the colors appeared almost magical, as a lunatic’s dream. In wonder, the emanated light seemed to be heavy, suspending a fine shimmering powder, that some may have once called, “moon dust”. The night was clear, but there was a quality of a mist, as a haze of angle dust would sparkle and shine. It hung in the air. I could almost taste and smell it as a sugary cold vapor. It would sound, as if by elfin ears, like millions of tiny glass bells, or the tinkling of a great leaded chandelier in a breeze। It is beyond my ken that these preternatural perceptions could dissipate so quickly in the light of day, yet at the time my lunacy seemed quite real.

The rainbow precedents reflected on the clouds seem to be showing what the silver color composition really is, a mixture of reflective short wavelengths that seemingly possess metallic qualities. I have observed these same color mix in the layer of oxidation found on weathered copper, or on old glass, the multipolar carbon-colors produced on surfaces of overheated steel, reflected polish scratches on sheet metal such as tin, and the stress marks produced on plastic, as in the mirrored layered lenses of our platform marker lights। These particular stress marks can be more easily observed through polarized light, but all have the same quality nuance not easily produced without a metal medium। Moonlight gives off that same cast, as when observing reflective scratches on metal, when no matter at which angle seen, a symmetrical arc is radiated outward, refracting light। Likewise, this reflected color on the moons ring and the accompanying “dust”, gives off that same scratched effect। It as if the clouds are silver strands of spun wire, or scratches on the sky. In it’s totality, the full moon’s light gives us an unlimited amount of circumstances, and new perspectives to observe, and redefine, in the constantly changing night. Objects that are otherwise thought common, and understood in the light of day, take on a magic, insubstantial appearance in the moon’s light. There are realities found in this silver light that can only be detected without the blinding light of day. Our limited spectrum perceptions help us understand what we may have otherwise taken for granted with more illumination. Its lunacy is truly wonderful.

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