The Moon In Wine

Kage Baker would have loved last night’s Super Blue Blood Moon. Once I got her out of bed, that is, and she had forced her eyes into focus. Then, the lunar fire balloon in the West would have had her clapping her hands in glee.

(I am assuming, of course, that had Kage still been living, she and I would still have been happily in our aerie apartment in Pismo Beach. The moon would have been visible out our living room windows, a red opal sinking into the black, 5:30 AM waves.)

Still, it was amazing and wonderful from my front porch here in L.A. Kimberly and I tottered out to view together, after Kimberly had scouted to see precisely where it could be seen, before she let me go dot-and-carry picking my way out with my cane. She seems to feel gravity will pounce like a velociraptor and drag me to the ground … in which she is probably not far off. In any event, I did not fall down and we saw the moon and it was marvellous.

It’s funny how much easier it is to get up early, now that I am old. It’s still easiest to simply not go to sleep at, and thus be ready to spring up for whatever middle-of-the-night revel is at hand. That’s been my technique for years, assisted by making sure I never know precisely what time it is … it works fine. Kimberly, too, was ready and willing to sally forth in the dark to view horological wonders. But we never even tried to wake up Michael, and this morning he assured us we did the right thing. He’s in his twenties, and not a night person yet.

Kage was so totally a solar, diurnal life form that it was almost deadly to wake or keep her up late. You could see the flames beginning to gutter in her eyes … but seeing the moon last night would have been worth it, though she’d have clung to her pillow and pulled the coverlet over her head.

But for such a sight! I hope you saw it, Dear Readers. The moon truly looked like an alien world, transformed by the red penumbral tide. It was scarlet, crimson, ruby red: no mere copper shadowing, but the whole broad silver face of the moon drowned in burgundy. The mares and impact craters stood out in an even deeper carmine, as if the shadow of the eclipse were a literal fluid that had flooded the cold lunar plain.

It was like the negative image of a green rose.

It was like tasting the sun in a glass of Merlot.

It was like the Red Queen dancing in a ballroom of black glass.

Caveat: I wrote all the foregoing about 14 hours ago, firmly in February the 1st but also in the wee o’dark thirty hours. I was sitting up watching the late rerun of The Rachel Maddow Show, which might account for the generally hallucinatory air of the entry. The world in which we presently live is weird as hell – which it may, in fact, be: unless we have just fallen through a warp in time-space to an alternate dimension of evil and stupidity … and I cannot avoid the suspicion that this is an even worse version of the normal alternate dimension of evil and stupidity, since none of the villains have had the courtesy to sport identifying beards.

Nonetheless, I was in a transport of delight remembering the moon: as well as a rage of despair, listening to the madness and ills of our nation. The combination of hope and despair is somehow symbolized by the extraordinary sight of that beautiful, improbable moon. It’s the only time in my lifetime it will have been seen, and I did not miss it.

And, who knows? It may yet be a hopeful omen. The ancients took just about every weird thing in the sky to mean the imminent fall of a king, which is something that America needs right now. It’s been a good move for us before.

Also, it was just plain gorgeous. I’ll tell you what is was a sign of, Dear Readers: Beauty. Beauty remains, is wild, comes as it wills, and cannot be prevented.

And so, there am I happy.








About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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