Saturday, March 19, 2011

I see the moon....


In honor of the "supermoon" tonight (the brightest full moon in nearly 20 years!), here are some memorable moon references from Diana Gabaldon's books and stories:

No matter what unfamiliar circumstances Claire finds herself in, the sight of the full moon is comforting in its familiarity.
I found a pleasant private spot between two large boulders and made a comfortable nest for myself from heaped grass and the blanket.  Stretched at length on the ground, I watched the full moon on its slow voyage across the sky.

Just so had I watched the moon rise from the window of Castle Leoch, on my first night as Colum's unwilling guest.  A month, then, since my calamitous passage through the circle of standing stones.

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 11 ("Conversations With A Lawyer"). Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Bree and Jamie, talking about the first moon landing:
"Your mother did tell me once that men meant to fly to the moon," he said abruptly.  "They hadna done it yet, that she knew, but they meant to.  Will ye know about that?"

She nodded, eyes fixed on the rising moon.

"They did.  They will, I mean."  She smiled faintly.  "Apollo, they called it--the rocket ship that took them."

She could see his smile in answer; the moon was high enough to shed its radiance on the clearing.  He tilted his face up, considering.

"Aye?  And what did they say of it, the men who went?"

"They didn't need to say anything--they sent back pictures."

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 42 ("Moonlight"). Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Jerry MacKenzie, in "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows".
He thought he could even smell the moon, a faint green sickle above the horizon; he tasted cheese at the thought, and his mouth watered.

(From "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" by Diana Gabaldon, p. 459 in the SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH anthology.  Copyright© 2010 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
I laughed the first time I read that, because I'm just barely old enough to understand the reference to the old-fashioned, fanciful notion that the moon was "made out of green cheese".

This next quote, from the scene in ABOSAA where Jamie and Roger have gone off in pursuit of Stephen Bonnet, leaving Claire alone with the captain of the boat that brought them to Ocracoke, always makes me laugh.
"Oh.  Well, ma'am--I believe I did hear one o' the young men say as how there was a rondayvooz to occur, at dark o' moon?"

"Yes," I said a little guardedly.  We had told the captain as little as possible, not knowing whether he might have some association with Bonnet.  "The dark of the moon is tomorrow night, isn't it?"

"It is," he agreed.  "But what I mean to say is--when one says 'dark o' moon,' most likely one does mean nighttime, aye?"

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 106 ("Rendezvous"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.) 
I can't talk about moon references in the OUTLANDER books without mentioning Fanny Beardsley's story:
"We should go before moonrithe, she said softly.  "She cometh out then."

An icy ripple ran straight up my spine, and Jamie jerked, head snapping round to look at the darkened house.  The fire had gone out, and no one had thought to close the open door; it gaped like an empty eye socket.

"She who?" Jamie asked, a noticeable edge in his voice.

"Mary Ann," Mrs. Beardsley answered.  "She was the latht one."  There was no emphasis whatever in her voice; she sounded like a sleepwalker.

"The last what?" I asked.

"The latht wife," she replied, and picked up her reins.  "She thtands under the rowan tree at moonrithe."

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 29 ("One-Third of a Goat"). Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
This is Jamie, immediately after Malva's accusation in ABOSAA:
He rubbed a hand over his face, wondering what it was about young girls these days.  It was a full moon tonight; perhaps they truly did run lunatic.

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 80 ("The World Turned Upside Down"). Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.) 
And finally, here's Claire watching the full moon from the deck of the Artemis:
The moon rose huge and fast and golden, a great glowing disc that slid upward, out of the water and into the sky like a phoenix rising. The water was dark now, and the dolphins invisible, but I thought somehow that they were still there, keeping pace with the ship on her flight through the dark.

It was a scene breathtaking enough even for the sailors, who had seen it a thousand times, to stop and sigh with pleasure at the sight, as the huge orb rose to hang just over the edge of the world, seeming almost near enough to touch. 
(VOYAGER, Chapter 42, "The Man in the Moon")
Hope you enjoy these!  (And in case you're wondering, yes, I did go out and get a good look at the "supermoon" this evening, both with and without binoculars, and it was pretty impressive.)

P.S.  The title of this post comes from an old children's rhyme, "I see the moon and the moon sees me".

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