I do not expect that the evening sky be clear at this time of year, in this place, and yet- there the moon has been, crescent, bright without interruptions for many minutes. If we stop long enough to put binoculars in front of it, it seems as though we could hold the binoculars in one hand and reach out to touch the surface of the moon with the other. I know a little about the pieces that make up the "man in the moon," or what I have been seeing since I was very small. I know a little about lava flows into impact basins. I could learn more about that story.
Through binoculars or through any inexpensive telescope, the impact craters on the moon startle me. This I know about the moon: those points of impact are visible from earth on all but two days or so of each lunar month. From here, this time of year, the sight of the moon and all those those signs of violent history has snuck up on me, or maybe I have surprised it by flinging a door open without thinking. All of that history, and all of that violence, clearly visible to everyone on earth whose sky is clear.
Someone must have already remarked on the moon's inability to keep the impact of violence under wraps. Someone must have already remarked, too, that some of us seem to be more like the earth than like the moon. I have never seen any reference to this, but someone must have thought about it before I did.
What if we people were like the moon, with the evidence of each instance of violence visible to everyone on all but two days of each lunar month? In our world, certain places and times are famous for violence, and we can buy tickets to, say, the OK Corral just as we can buy our way in to look around Meteor Crater a few hundred miles away. We might invest time and fuel to visit the place where the shots rang out or the place where the half-of-a-football-field sized object crashed into the earth. These things happened before any of us were born. We treat the events as distant and rare and noteworthy, we take a look around and we move on, and years may pass before we give either or event another thought.
We might be thankful that we have ways of hiding violent impacts. I look at the moon, I think of the one things I know about it, the thing that the moon and I sometimes have in common. Sometimes the signs of violence in our lives are revealed and are bright, something like that surprising brightness on an unexpected clear night in this place at this time of year. For most of the rest of our days and nights, we seem to move in the equivalent of lots of clouds and in a space with much less light than our sun sends the moon's way and ours.