Lunar Ruminations

Last night, with my nipples about to fall off in the subzero twilight, I watched the earth’s penumbra slowly turn the moon from a bright coin to a fingernail sliver. Saturn and Regulus glittered brightly, as an aside.

Gazing at the spectacle, I wondered what the ancients made of this celestial event, when men on their mountains and the people of the plains saw their moon shadowed. The hand of god swatting at the bright disk of night? An evil ruddying the moon like blood in a pool? I imagine fearful acts of superstition, from nervous mutterings into the night to obscure gods, or the slaughtering of beasts, and perhaps virgins, whose blood torrent onto the ground in hopes of appeasing the powers that challenged the constant of their heavenly dramas. What was the world like, back then, before the age of reason?

Would I, intact in mind and body born in such a time, be slave to the same superstitions and irrational musings, or would I dare to challenge the ideas of fellow men based on the reasoned reasoning of visual evidence? I don’t know. Is such a question worth asking? Probably not, but such thoughts sieve through my mind.

The world after tomorrow is a constant subject of curiosity for me. I’m inclined to think man might just sink from his heights and return to his medieval roots, rutting with the hogs and praying to gods they find in forces of nature or the technological artifacts of their grandfathers’ great-grandfathers: green circuit boards, a shattered CRT monitor, or even, dare I laugh, a disposable diaper. The passage of humanity a chalkboard drama, in which the slate is wiped clean after the space is filled up. Vico’s La Scienza Nuova in the word of Joseph Campbell: the four ages of man.

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