May 30th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Waning Moon

As the moon rises above the trees, its light drops down the fronts of the houses across the street; pale facades, pierced by dark windows. The sleeping world. Earth turns, the light selects bits and pieces of the world to reveal; an oak branch, a mailbox, a patch of asphalt. A few strands of utility wire glisten like elongated stars. The pale sky reveals the shapes of things, but not the things themselves. Silhouettes blend and form new things; a row of pines beyond the orchard look like the heads of giant dogs looming over the apple trees, ears pricked up, listening for danger. Night is fragmentation and deception. Night is close and bound, and night is vast serenity.
caillebotte_man at his window

Observation

For this experiment you will need:

a) One late spring or early summer day, bright and clear.
b) One oak tree.
c) One star, approximately 93,000,000 miles distance, and which is an hour or two before or after local meridian.
d) One breeze.
e) A shady spot in which to sit, which will place the oak tree in between yourself and the star.

Stare at the oak tree for a while. Observe the patterns of light and shadow on its leaves. When the breeze moves the leaves, those that catch the light will glitter, and it will look as though the foliage of the tree is made of rippling water.