Abstract: story telling of a Red moon blues
Tonight will be different. I am driving quietly on the National 340. The sun is high and strong. The dry landscape of Andalusia opens and closes on the rhythm of the car as a fan of gold and brown lands. It is afternoon, the 27th of September 2015, around 30° degrees, still summer in South Spain. I am going from Seville to the southernmost point of Europe, Tarifa. Tonight will be different.
Somebody has the deep belief that one can read the life of the men mirrored in the sky, in the never ending dance of stars and planets. I do not know where truth is, but I am sure, the reality is an interconnected system, every movement as its consequences.
Tonight the moon will be full and closer than normal to the Earth, She, the moon, will appear unusually bigger and brighter, as She was falling on us. A strange move will be played in the game of stars and planets, it is a sort of chess check to the sky, a unique perfect balanced instant: sun, earth and moon will be perfectly aligned, up there, on a thin, thin invisible line suspended in the sky: a bloody moon will be eaten by the darkness. It will be a lunar eclipse, and the end of the tetrad1.
I arrive around 4:00 PM. Tarifa is a tangle of small alleys and white and gold houses. The light is gold, dense as liquid, there is a deep feeling as of an Arabian spell. From here Africa is only 18 km far from the shores of Europe… here Africa is the horizon. Tarifa is a geographic crossroad, a perfect point of convergence, where Africa is about to touch Europe and on the same exact point Ocean and Mediterranean Sea throb together to become one water. Tarifa is “a never ending flow of currents and waves, as an open circle, a big single movement, a perfect place of unity, a frontier, a limit, a beginning and an end. The Bride of the Strait, the Bride in between waters and lands2”.
The day is beautiful, Levant, the eastern wind, blows strong. The village looks half sleeping, the Ocean is quiet. There is a sort of expectation in the air.
As the evening comes closer I walk East, to the Mediterranean side of Tarifa. There is a small promontory out of town, isolated, crown by an old empty villa. The garden’s plants are back to their wild nature. The promontory faces the mountain of Africa, from its top East is on the water of the Mediterranean Sea and West on the water of the Ocean. It is a small rock perfectly aligned.
The horizon fades in the sea mist, the sunlight turns to a pale gold, then, slowly, she emerges from the sea mist, as still wet of water. A blue reflection makes her whiteness unreal, she, the moon, looks alive, as if she were coming to me. The moon, the moon, the moon is raising.
It is the perfect moment of the passage, the point in the middle, the perfect moment of the change. It is the unexplored place in between two instants, two different realities, it is not night nor day, and then, the sun begins to fall, to drag the light of the day down to the bottom of the Ocean. The sky bushes, the sun is dying in a blaze provoked by his own passion.
On the other side, opposite to it, but exactly on the same axis, the moon, young, strong, rises the light of the night to win on the day: the sun sinks beyond the edge of the world and the darkness, dominated by this wild violent moon, is back to possess the earth. I sit, silently, close to myself, filled by the beauty of the world, watching, till every memory of the day vanishes.
I watch the moon and I feel I should move, I should follow her dance from East to West. I look West. The light house of Tarifa sends its message to the sailors. My mind focuses on lights. The light of the moon, the light of the sun, the light of the light house, the light house… lights… Tonight is a night of alignment, things that composes lines, suspended geometry. I look at the sky and at the lands around try to link them, looking for a correspondence. After a long while a name came into my mind: the light house of Cape Camarinal.
The light house of Cape Camarinal is in between the light house of Tarifa and the light house of Cape Trafalgar. It is a perfect three elements line on the earth like the alignment of moon, earth and sun in the space, it is the same line of the eclipses. I am back driving towards Cape Camarinal.
The light house of Cape Camarinal is an elegant XVI century military tower, converted into light house in 1990. It lies on top of a 100 meters high promontory that stretches into the water and marks the division between two beautiful beaches. The free space of the Atlantic Ocean is westwards, in front of me. Africa winks at Europe to south-west. A big wave of pine woods and small mountains floods the landscape to East.
I set my bivouac directly down the tower. It is still early. The moon is brighter than ever and gives a ghostly-light to the place. The tower seems to enclose a secret. Levant is blows stronger and stronger, everything moves and looks alive: we sit as on the border of a realm of imagination. I am not alone, I see the silhouettes of three people sitting on the edge of the cliff.
After I while I take out the flute, and I mount it slowly, as a ritual. I close the eyes, I listen long to the sound of the Ocean and then I blow, softly, looking the same note, a note of night and waves, a long balanced note as the equilibrium I can feel tonight.
The sound gets lost in the cliffs, it falls into the sea, into the night, it becomes part of the landscape. The music comes out naturally as the place and the moment are playing me. Suddenly a new note, hesitant at the beginning, takes strength and get clear and bright as a laugh. One of the people is getting closer to me. She is singing. Her voice moves freely in the air, she catches the note of my flute, she plays a bit around them, as dancing with them or playing hide-and-seek… She is looking for a way to join me, and I do the same, I look for her voice, and slowly we meet on a pentatonic scale. It is a sort of blues, a red moon blues maybe, a red moon blues wet of Ocean and sky. We go on till a strange shadow appears on the edge of the moon, as some smoke has been blown into her white. We stop. It began.
The light has a little change, then something as the tip of a black nail covers a corner of the moon. Slowly, solemnly, the darkness, as an alive creature, invades the white, a passionate poetic aggression to the light, as a vampire sweetly sips the body of a young lover, or as in the ancient legend, the moon attacked by 7 demons.
The moon starts to bleed, as dying of pleasure, as the darkness loves and kills her. I feel something in my body, a physic reaction to what happen in the sky. The eclipse grows, the darkness bites, the moon bleeds, her white bright skin turns into a lake of blood, and, with the fading of her light and the growing of the darkness, stars appears, more and more, a cold rain of stars that overflows the world. The eclipse is total, the moon is dead, the world is motionless.
We cannot move nor speak. The air is tense, solid, I have the feeling that something is about to be unveiled, but it is just the perception of the vastness of the reality, we live on a sphere suspended between stars, up, down, all around, even now: please, stop to read “look at the ground, down the earth that feeds your step, there is a never ending starry night, the world dances into the abyss, your steps are of a walker towards the infinity3”
After a measureless interval, the world is back to move, the time flows back, the darkness retreat, the moon takes back strength and light, but the memories of that dark pleasure is still in the air.
The other two people come to us. They are travelers from the North. We spent the rest of the night just breathing and feeling and watching, together, exchanging very few words. We move away only when the moon touches the Ocean and disappears in the morning mist. I say good by and I walk away whistling our Red Moon Blues. The sun is rising behind the mountain, we see his light smiling in the sky.
Red moon blues notes:
1 The fourth of four lunar eclipses in series
2 Verses from the Spanish poem “The last kiss of Europe”
3 Verses from the Spanish poem “The Northern Lover”
Red Moon Blues Photogallery
A video of the Lunar Eclipses of the 27th of September 2015