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  • Pearl Lorentzen

Shared moon, unique angles

The moon has fascinated both artists and scientists for centuries. This makes it difficult thing to write about, without falling into cliches. As such, it is a prime example of the difficulties of writing about shared objects.

Moon rise. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

As a child, we often would drive from the prairies in Alberta to Seattle to visit family. One trip, we were driving by Longview when one of us asked, which way the sun was setting. We all knew that we were heading basically south, and that the sun was setting on our right. However, the moon rising on our left was just as big. It also reflected off the clouds just like a sunrise.


I think it was a super moon. This is when the moon is full or new at the same time that its elliptical orbit is closet to the earth.


The above photo is the full moon in August 2020 catching the sunset. It's not quite a harvest moon, but close. The one below is one of the first photos I took with my camera. The moon is hidden by a veil of birch branches.

Spot the moon. Photo by Pearl Lorentzen.

At university, I explained to someone new to Alberta, that in the fall the rising moon is orange. They were very excited, until I explained that this was because it reflected off the dust from harvest in the atmosphere. Maybe I should have left the wonder of the phenomena stand.


I also spent one brisk autumn night in a friend's backyard with some other friends watching a lunar eclipse. Another time, I left my work in the lab with all my colleagues to hold a paper with a hole in it over the sidewalk to see a solar eclipse.


These are a few of the memories I have of the moon. I think most people have at some point noticed the moon. Most of us from a similar vantage point, i.e. looking up. However, there are unique aspects to each writer's experience and imagination. I think finding that different perspective and twist is the key incorporating common objects, like the moon, into one's writing.

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