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14 November 2016

Supermoon 'Melancholia'

Courtesy: ChicagoTribune.com

I got my love
for the movies from my Mom and my fascination at gazing at the moon from my Dad.

Here's hoping those two wondrous worlds don't collide, literally, when the biggest, brightest supermoon since 1948 passes closer to Earth than it has in 69 years tonight (Monday, Nov. 14).

I was a toddler in my Mom's arms, no doubt, when the last supermoon this exciting came calling.  I will be 87 if I'm around (and still pounding this computer keyboard) when it happens again on Nov. 25, 2034.

Will we even have computers then?  Will Mother Earth still be inhabitable then?  Will we all have our student loans paid off by then?  Who knows?

I know this.  I was spooked and haunted for a long time by Lars von Trier's Melancholia, an extremely dark and gloomy sci-fi drama from Denmark that hit U.S. movie houses in late 2011.  It, too, was about fascination about a space mass (a previously uncharted planet in this case)  on track to make a very close fly-by to Earth.

So I'm thinking I better venture outside tonight and greet the supermoon.  Tonight's moon will appear to be 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than normal.  So I'll be there, looking up.  I will do so with awe, curiosity, more than a little melancholia and thoughts of my late Dad, a hard worker, good provider, dreamer, the best storyteller I ever heard and a man forever fascinated by the moon.

"Look, boys, see the bear in the moon?  There's the big ol' bear, hunched over from left to right," he would tell my older brother and me.  "See it?"

You may be able to see it, too, in this remarkable photo taken by Tom Fox for the Associated Press of the semi-supermoon appearing to rise next to Reunion Tower in Dallas Sunday night.

"We see it, Daddy.  We see it," my brother and I would say, standing out in our Grand Prairie (Texas) back yard and looking up at the night sky.

The truth is, I couldn't quite make out the bear at first.  But after dozens of "See it?  See the bear?" I not only saw it, I see it as one of the most endearing moments of our father-son relationship.

I can't even think of a full moon, much less look at one, without missing my Dad, yet feeling his presence.

So tonight that experience will be supersized.  Not like getting an extra glob of greasy french fries at McDonalds.  It will likely be the only chance I'll have in my lifetime to view the moon like never before.

If I squint just right, I might just get to see my Dad sitting on the bear's knee.

"I see it Daddy.  I see you up there with the big ol' bear!"


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