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It was full moon again last night. I finally took out my old DSLR after I struggled for a while to capture the moon on my mobile phone camera. I managed a half-decent shot with some zooming and cropping. This is the end result. I stared at it for quite a while and the thoughts that ran through my mind are now spilling onto Read.Cash. Brace yourself!
The moon is a somewhat roundish piece of irregular rock floating around the earth. It's not a ball of fire or a pot of gold. It's been doing the same things repetitively for millions of years - reflecting the light from the sun and revolving around the earth. It occasionally gets human visitors with some awesome-looking big machines that poke and prod into it. It's very forgiving and entertains them with a little less gravity and some roller-coaster rides. It has no living being on it.
Look closely at the picture. There's just black, white, and different shades of grey - all the boring colors of the universe. There is no bright blue, deep red, yellow flashes, or pink streaks. There is no symmetry or perfection. It is a little bumpy and there are oddly shaped craters. All this is what causes the brilliance that we see in the sky as it reflects the sun.
With all this 'ordinary'ness in its existence, the moon has still become an integral part of billions of lives. It has inspired nursery rhymes, kindled and rekindled love, has become synonymous with romance, is every self-proclaimed and acclaimed photographer's favorite model, has become a staple in horror movies, and has supernatural value to some religions, The phases it shows us through its faces has given birth to philosophies and sciences. It has scared people with its eclipses and interested many with its influence on tides. Billions of dollars and decades of research and engineering have been dedicated to exploring it, with an aim to plunder it for what it is worth.
Think about all of that. I remember how my fiance (now my wife) and I were hundreds of kilometers apart at one time, but would draw comfort in knowing that we were looking at the same moon. Every time my daughter sees a brilliant moon, she breaks out into a nursery rhyme (Nila Nila Odi Vaa - a Tamil rhyme). A rocket launch to the moon will have my son glued to live TV. A lunar or solar eclipse becomes a family skywatching event. And when there is a full moon, there are stories we hear that we don't want to. On a clear night, it tempts us to whip out our mobile phones from our pocket and our cameras from dusty shelves with a hope to capture its beauty.
And yes, it is still just a near-shapeless lump of rock! All it does is consistently go round and round and carefully reflect the sunlight. That's something we can be inspired by. You may feel shapeless physically, dull inside, and purposeless. But if the moon can do what it can by just being what it is, you can achieve so much by just being you. Have a great day!
Epilogue: The attempt to shoot the moon was made using a 10-year-old Nikon D7000 camera with a 10-year-old Tamron 18-270mm lens on a 12-year-old tripod. I was in a hurry and only took a few shots - this one is still a bit blurry. The raw shot fully zoomed in with my lens, before I cropped it and edited it a little (on google photos on mobile) is below.
It all started when I noticed the full moon out of the bedroom window at 9 PM and decided to try and capture it with my mobile phone. Could not capture the moon, but got a decent shot of the moonlight highlighting the hill over which it shone.