Crescent Swoon

  I like crescent moons.  They're not as blatant as a full moon, nor as non-committal as a half moon.  Just a slip of light in a dark sky:  subtle, giving birth to all kinds of ideas.  In old postcards, children would balance precariously on crescent-shaped, paper moons.  Victorian ladies would perch on a crescent moon, cascading lace and smiling alluringly - inviting the viewer to join her on her lunar roost.  One of my favorite Christmas ornaments is a scarlet crescent moon, edged with gold and with a tiny star hanging before it – like a carrot tempting a donkey.

Crescent moons are graceful and unmistakable, made with a simple sweep of a cosmic paintbrush on a dark cobalt canvas.  They've inspired jewels and flags, in addition to ornaments.  The crescent moon and star was adopted by the Ottoman Empire.  The Virgin Mary stands upon a crescent moon.  They've even been carved onto outhouse doors. I've long been mesmerized by this delicate curve of light.  Maybe because it's so unexpected?  Planets are round, stars are like sparks of light…but a crescent:  who ordered that?  I'm always surprised – as well as delighted – to see a crescent moon hanging in the sky.

Last week there was a very fine crescent moon.  It's waxing now, however – each night it becomes a little fuller.  Still – next time a crescent moon comes along, I advise you to admire it.  But, please, if you're taking a walk, wait until you cross the street…as I didn't…or you'll become moon-struck in more ways than one.

Early 1900s Gilded Corbella Postcard, Pierrot Clown Serenades Lady on the Crescent Moon, Latvian Stamp



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9 responses to “Crescent Swoon

  1. Nice post. The crescent is alluring, it's true.

  2. I love how the Man in the Moon gets pushed to the side as the crescent emerges. My next piece of cheeseshall a crescent be,to honor thatskyward toss of the C.

  3. "skyward toss of the C"
    Did you write that? You wacki-kins! I love it!

  4. Such pretty images – I want to see more! The crescent moon makes me think of Maxfield Parish paintings – I feel like they probably feature the moon in that phase.

  5. I think you're right – Parish seemed to have had an appreciation for the shapes and colors you can find in the sky.

  6. I think my favourite comment about the Moon, paraphrased from the Kids in the Hall, is:"You see that moon? That one, there."

  7. We have had a lovely tiny sliver of crescent this month. I enjoyed it for an entire evening on my way home from my daughter's university. Magical!

  8. The other thing I love about the moon is its absolute refusal to play along with the Catholic Church's insistence that the earth was flat. Month after month, it went on hanging in the sky, flaunting the earth's roundness. Imagine how amazing it must have been for those Renaissance scientists and philosophers–that first moment they realized what they were seeing in the crescent moon.

  9. beautiful. your post is's been so overcast here these last days, i can't remember the last time i saw the moon…

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