On the far side of the moon there is a crater called Niepce, named after Joseph Niécephore Niépce, inventor of heliography and the oldest surviving photograph. It is a worn crater formation, ‘with rim features that have been softened and rounded by subsequent deposits of ejecta’. It is a careful, patient activity, to observe the features of the moon: one must follow the border of the sun’s illumination, the thin region between darkness and light where the shadows are longest — the shadow terminator, this place is called. In Niepce, it has been observed, there is a small crater shaped like a teardrop, likely created by a low-angle impact.
Tell me again, I ask the stations — tell me again how nothing is as it seems. Show me how fine a thing it is to spend one’s time securing moments of illumination for safe-keeping. Convince me — I want to believe — that every twinkling trace, every glance of light is an inscription, a burnishing, a tiny percussion in the surface of time: a still life, memento mori, to its passage. Take me there.