Reversed Light

Even before sunrise, the day seems gloomy. One of those days when, staggering out of bed in the dark to put on the kettle, I glance out of the window into the garden and see a reversed light. Not the normal situation, with a faint or growing brightness above and the apple tree in darkness, along with rose bushes, grass, and the semi-wild zones which I deliberately foster. This is a brooding light, a slow-moving, louring fog of light at ground level, and a thickening layer of darkness above, mysteriously resident in low and shapeless cloud.

Perhaps it is the moon. Four days from fullness, at 77% or ‘waxing gibbous’ in the astronomical phrase, it sets at 5.00 a.m. My window faces west, and sunrise is not till 6.30. Perhaps the glow of the moon’s face, even shrouded in rainclouds coming in from the southwest on a heavy breeze, is the origin and source of this strangely familiar reversal. It is like the weird effect of a full moon, a lit-up feverish radiance in things but no real perspective, a flatness of light which prevents clarity of definition and layout. Bushes and branches reach out into visible presence but I cannot quite touch them.

My own location is undefined in this sort of light.

Time for a cup of tea!

... John Clare writes about moonlight:

The boy ne’er mends his pace but soodles on

Blessing the moonlight when the day is gone

& even dares to pause amid the shade

Of the old ruined castle undismayed…

Oft turning to the moon a wondering eye

That seems to journey with him thro’ the sky

Moves as he moves & stops, as glad the while

To wait his leisure while he climbs a stile…

John Clare, from The Midsummer Cushion ‘Pleasures of Spring’ ll. 418 ff.