Sunday, February 28, 2021

Abstract Moons

"I distinguish two parts of it, which I call respectively the brighter and the darker. The brighter seems to surround and pervade the whole hemisphere; but the darker part, like a sort of cloud, discolors the Moon’s surface and makes it appear covered with spots. Now these spots, as they are somewhat dark and of considerable size, are plain to everyone and every age has seen them, wherefore I will call them great or ancient spots, to distinguish them from other spots, smaller in size, but so thickly scattered that they sprinkle the whole surface of the Moon, but especially the brighter portion of it. These spots have never been observed by anyone before me; and from my observations of them, often repeated, I have been led to the opinion which I have expressed, namely, that I feel sure that the surface of the Moon is not perfectly smooth, free from inequalities and exactly spherical… but that, on the contrary, it is full of inequalities, uneven, full of hollows and protuberances, just like the surface of the Earth itself, which is varied everywhere by lofty mountains and deep valleys."

- Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642)
The Starry Messenger

Postscript. I could just as well have called this entry "Homage to White," as in paying homage to Minor White's well-known dictum to always strive to photograph what else a "thing" is. Always on alert for things and light to photograph, I was entranced this morning by the ravioli mold sitting quietly, Zen-like, beside our sink. Though it was "clean" (my wife has recently taken to making pasta and pasta dishes from scratch, including a delicious spaghetti meal she made last night), the play of light revealed distinctive palimpsest-esque patterns of residue. A quick jaunt upstairs to grab my camera and tripod was all it took to transform a simple, ordinary hunk of aluminum into a cauldron of wondrous cosmic delights!

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