I walked along the side of the sea as it lapped the shore. Like everyone I constantly wondered about the mysterious light shining up from under the water but so many strange things had happened since the first day and the greatest mystery of all was the quiet, the lack of action. The sky was dotted with its own lights that seemed to hang there like nearer stars but they hovered, sometimes dipping down towards the sea. It was as if the light from under the water was drawing the formless bright dots down and in turn as one would drop it would touch the surface of the water for a few seconds and then float back to its position as another fell. This would continue through the night, but not every night. The crowds that had flocked to the Portuguese shoreline had dissipated since the earlier days of wonder and fear because now more than six months had passed since the first day and people had stopped taking any notice, they were bored with the inaction more than they were interested in the mystery.
It was midnight and time for me to return to my station, sitting, watching, waiting. It was comforting to know that the tides still moved as they always did. It had always been explained that the moon controlled the tides and that gravity would be affected but since the moon had slowly descended from its place in the sky and immersed itself in the Atlantic Ocean and since we were told that the destruction of the Earth was imminent as the moon slowly descended – nothing happened. Theories abounded about what was going on, alien invasion, Russia (if you were in America), America (if you were in Russia), but nothing actually happened, nothing changed. There was no threat, the Earth continued to spin, the weather didn’t change, just this giant glowing ball of rock was sitting there in the sea and seemed to be exchanging invisible energy with the hovering lights that interacted with it. But that’s all they were, glowing lights, they had no substance. The air force had ventured close to them to analyse the phenomena but took no readings because there were none, brave helicopters had sailed through them but they were just ghosts, floating benign ghosts.
Exploratory boats sailed towards the great glowing ball in the sea, straddled by gunships and aircraft carriers as they went to investigate. Once they arrived and were directly above the sunken moon, they sent down divers. On their return, they explained that it was as if the moon glowing in the sky had simply descended with its light intact as if the sun shining on the surface was not in fact why the moon glowed, it was as if the light was coming from the inside. It was a translucent ball that lit up the ocean and communicated with the small hovering dots of light in the sky and that was all anybody knew. The world continued to exist as if nothing had happened, as if the moon was still where it should be, just hidden in the sky behind the clouds.
I relieved and replaced the quiet lady from the observatory Dark Sky Alqueva who seemed to be as mysterious as the moon itself and I began my shift observing and taking any relevant notes from my position, Observation Point 15. But at the end of each night, all the data that was passed onto the central control gave us no clue or explanation, all they had was reams of blank pages except for the times of the descending lights and the ascending lights which seemed to happen at rather irregular intervals and the mathematicians could find no rhyme or reason for it, no pattern. Many surmised it was godly, others a natural occurrence that may have happened before, millions of years ago, and others were convinced that it was intelligence at work. Still others suggested that each other were up to no good. But, nothing ever seemed to happen, even after months and months had gone by. Until one day…
Music today was The Moon And The Melodies (November 1986), a collaboration between Harold Budd and members of Cocteau Twins that features ethereal effected pianos from Budd and ethereal effected guitars from Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde played bass with Elizabeth Fraser’s otherworldly voice intoxicating the listener. Richard Thomas of 4AD label mates Dif Juz also appears on drums and saxophone. The album, credited to their individual names (except Thomas), was released between Cocteau Twins’ Victorialand (April 1986) and Blue Bell Knoll (September 1988). It’s a must for your Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd collection but do you file it under C or B?