Through an iPad, darkly


Here is another iPad photo (see Silver linings). I have been thinking of quite a different post, not yet written, hopefully will be soon. But tonight, after visit to the village Gardening Club, followed by the pub, came back home to stunning moon over the garden, with clouds and cherry tree branches. I rushed in to fetch the iPad, as the most handy thing for taking a quick picture.

I have been wishing I knew the night sky better since we have been here. The Plough is the only constellation I recognise easily. Being in the middle of the village, as we are, there are house lights and street lights-a-plenty around us, but still the sky is darker than in Manchester; we see many more stars (see the International Dark-Sky Association or news about Northumberland’s Dark Sky status for more on this sort of thing).

Weirdly, these photos of the moon remind me of the ones that are taken of the back of my eye every few months, to see how my diabetic retinopathy is getting on. There is the same bright spot at the centre, surrounded by a mysterious tracery of veins or branches; makes me feel slightly queasy, looking at them.

Now, why should the moon look like my eye? Or do I mean the other way around?

‘Now we see through a glass, darkly but then face to face…’
I always feel both excitement and terror when hearing that phrase; it conjures up for me our yearning to be seen, to be known, without pretence, evasion or defence, and, on the other side of the balance, our great fear of that possibility, that happening: a never-ending human conundrum.


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