The Moon Upon the Sea

Topkapı Saray, Aya Sofya from Galata Bridge, 31 Temmuz 2012
I remember once writing an email to friends in which I described climbing up a steep hill in Greece. It must have been August, the sea wine-dark, all of us dark with wine (and worse), but I remember clearly the feeling of cresting one bluff and looking out across the water. It was a full moon, sharp and brilliant, and I think the line I wrote (I've lost it since) went something like that:
And the moon threw a bracelet across the sea.
The line -- the image, more properly -- still comes to mind every time I see the full moon atop the water. We're nearly there, halfway into Ramadan, these long nights filled with drums and mahya and breezes that hang from us like poorly fitting shirts, but the words that still come to mind first are those from that night in Greece.

I'm not sure what it tells us. Maybe that our experiences in places are never simply of places; that more than anything else, our words lay trails behind us, or maybe stretching out beyond us, shimmering like the moon upon the sea.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Lovely--the photo, the line, the Homeric drunkenness--all of it (and the moon's bracelet, I'd suspect, is made from mother-of-pearl).

Also, there was a spectacular moonrise over Validebağ this evening: first pale in the haze, looking like nothing so much as a communion wafer hung in the sky, and then bold and saffron-colored by the time iftar prayer began.
Timur Hammond said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Timur Hammond said…
Thanks -- did you happen to see the moon tonight? I think in part because of Ramadan, I'm paying more attention to its cycle, always trying to catch it out of the corner of my eye so I can get some sense of where we are in the month. So tonight, waning, but full of color.

Popular Posts