Sunday 4 December 2016

Kevin Myers: Falling victim to the dark side of the moon

Published 21/01/2011 | 05:00

Historians will look at many things to explain the collapse of the Cowen regime. How many of them will consider the role of the moon? For that is the great satellite of unreason. Its orbits drive poets to madness and lovers to abandon.

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Moonlight is the great enchanter, the lantern of the benighted traveller, the guide of the lonely wayfarer. No light is quite like the light of the moon, no benediction as benign as its midnight glow. From the sickle-crescent of its birth, to the radiance of its fullness, it is our unfailing friend.

Only it's not. Ask anyone who woke up around three last Tuesday morning: the sudden wide-awakeness of a very bad nightmare, except there was no nightmare, just the silent uproar of a baffled, whirring mind. I found myself wide-eyed, my brain a tumult, as the moonlight physically pressed against the curtains like a following breeze on a tea-clipper's mainsail. Beyond that curtain, the moon stood huge and round and sinister, glaring down at the earth. This was not the moon of poets, but the baleful thing at which wolves howl. This was the moon that every hospital casualty-unit dreads, as under its spell men break bottles in faces, a usually pleasant wife lifts the midnight carving knife from the drawer with unforeseen purpose, and takes a step towards her snoring husband, and ministers conspire against the man who leads them.

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