Wednesday, 3 April 2019

I see the moon...

I went to the local museum yesterday to see the Museum of the Moon exhibition. This is a six metre diameter, 1:600,000 scale model of the moon featuring NASA imagery of the moon's surface.  Each centimetre of the sculpture represents 6km of the moon's surface. (That information was taken from the brochure above). 
 The sculpture is internally lit and is presented in a darkened space, adding to the ethereal quality.
There is a soundtrack alongside the sculpture which features various sounds such as astronauts talking and rockets blasting off.
 The best moment for me was when the soundtrack featured Clair de Lune by Debussy.  The music and the moon worked so well together and it was a magical experience.
It does look as though you could reach out and touch it, but there were barriers to stop you getting too close.
While contemplating the sculpture, I was thinking back to the first poem I had to learn at secondary school which was Silver by Walter de la Mere.  I think it is appropriate to include it here:

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;
This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;
One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;
Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;
From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep;
A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws and a silver eye;
And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.
 The other piece of writing I thought of was from The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.  This was a written comprehension exercise at school:

It was all silver. Upon each side of them the trunks of tall trees rose from grass so silvered by the moonlight that it glimmered like water. The trees were not thickly planted, and beautiful glades opened between them, showing glimpses of an ebony sky set with silver stars. Nothing moved. It was all quite still, as though enchanted under the moon. The silvery tracery of twigs and branches above the silver tree trunks was so delicate that the moonlight sifted through it like a fine film of silver dust.

But there was life among the trees, though it was life that did not move. Maria saw a silver owl sitting on a silver branch, and a silver rabbit sitting up on its haunches beside the road blinking at the lantern light, and a beautiful group of silver deer . . . And for a fleeting instant, at the far end of a glade, she thought she saw a little white horse with flowing mane and tail, head raised, poised, halted in mid-flight, as though it had seen her and was glad.
While I did enjoy moments of calm and contemplation, these were only while I was on my own.  My cue to leave was when a group of rather excited ladies came in and proceeded to take selfies and speak loudly as they walked round.
The other thing was that I felt the space was just too small to do the sculpture justice.  In other places where it has been exhibited,  the moon has been suspended in a huge space, such as a church or cathedral, so that people could sit or lie underneath it (people walking underneath it can be seen on the brochure front). I think that would have been fascinating.   However, I am pleased I managed to see the moon - the closest I will ever get to the real thing.


  1. What a lovely thing to go and see but I am with you on other people being a pain in the ***** and spoiling things.

    I have to confess to still not feeling guilty for the time I shocked the heck out of a couple who arrived at the top of a fell (thankfully) only a few minutes before I had planned to leave. I had enjoyed half an hour of quiet and solitude before these two arrived - they both were squealing "oh it's so amazingly quiet, isn't it wonderful" and then proceeded to stand and yell "hello" at the top of their voices - over, and over and over again. After a couple of minutes I could not resist the urge to ask them why the goodness they could not just be quiet and enjoy the silence they had remarked upon. They were so shocked at being told they were behaving like idiots they shut up. Ooops . . .

    1. Thanks, Jayne. I think the worst thing is that the people don't even realise that they could be intruding on your peace/solitude/contemplation. I did get some time to myself, for which I am very grateful.
      Best wishes

  2. It looks like a wonderful exhibition to see (albeit too big for this space).
    Hiss and spit at selfish selfie takers.
    I loved Elizabeth Goudge's books and still revisit them.

    1. Thanks, EC. It was quite an experience (despite the noisy people). I am re-reading The Little White Horse - well, it had to be done after seeing the Moon and I think I also need to read Linnets and Valerians again.
      Best wishes

  3. WOW!! Fantastic pictures, looks like a very interesting exhibit. How nice you got to enjoy it, and thanks for sharing with us. LOVE the poem, and right you are, it's very appropriate.
    Sandy's Space

    1. Thanks, Sandy. I am glad I saw it. That poem has stayed with me over the years, even if I can't quite remember it all now!
      Best wishes