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This feature is part of The Click series, taken from Issue 127. A podcast version of this feature is available exclusively to Supporters.

Certainly the first actual date that I can remember in my life, which was 16 September, 1978 – a month after my tenth birthday – was an evening when there was a total solar eclipse. I observed it from an empty meadow in my rural hometown of Remscheid, western Germany. I used a small telescope I had gotten for my birthday the previous month. It was a really moving experience because I could observe the slow movement of the shadow of the Earth falling onto the full moon in real time.

Besides being quite beautiful – the moon went from bright white to copper to blood red – it was this feeling of sitting on this ball, the Earth. We were moving slowly between the sun and the moon. If there was a direct line between the sun and moon, the Earth happened to move exactly in between, casting a shadow onto the moon. What I always find so moving about eclipses, and also the phenomenon of the moon in earthlight, is that in these moments, I can feel that I’m part of a much larger geometry of bodies in space.

I then spent my early teen years, every clear night, observing this. I felt less lonely in this incredible emptiness that I was looking into. I thought, ‘If we are all facing that, then we are all facing it together.’ I felt a sense of solidarity. Then I started to make observations and draw what I saw. I learned to really look. When you look through the telescope, the faintest things that you want to see are a little bit to the side.

When you look directly at something, the seeing cells on your retina are primarily colour sensitive. Whereas in the periphery, the seeing cells are black and white and more light sensitive.

So observation itself is actually something I learned to observe. Like, ‘How do I look? What do I see? How do I see it?’ And when adolescence kicked in – and I discovered my own sexuality, politics and aesthetics – so too did my understanding that the way I see things is not absolute and it always depends on the position from where I look. It all has to do with the aesthetics of life and how we live together; how we shape things and how we see each other.

Moon in Earthlight is out now via Fragile.
Listen to an an audio version of this story on crackmagazine.digital.