“What is the first ‘sea’ you find in the hemisphere on the left? The ‘Mare Imbrium’ or the Rainy Sea, a fit emblem of our human life, beaten by many a pitiless storm. In a corresponding part of the southern hemisphere you see ‘Mare Nubium’, the Cloudy Sea, in which our poor human reason so often gets befogged. Close to this lies ‘Mare Humorum’, the Sea of Humors, where we sail about, the sport of each fitful breeze, “everything by starts and nothing long.” Around all, embracing all, lies ‘Oceanus Procellarum’, the Ocean of Tempests, where, engaged in one continuous struggle with the gusty whirlwinds, excited by our own passions or those of others, so few of us escape shipwreck. And, when disgusted by the difficulties of life, its deceptions, its treacheries and all the other miseries “that flesh is heir to,” where do we too often fly to avoid them? To the ‘Sinus Iridium’ or the ‘Sinus Roris’, that is Rainbow Gulf and Dewy Gulf whose glittering lights, alas! Give forth no real illumination to guide our stumbling feet, whose sun-tipped pinnacles have less substance than a dream, whose enchanting waters all evaporate before we can lift a cup-full to our parched lips! Showers, storms, fogs, rainbows-is not the whole mortal life of man comprised in these four words?
Now turn to the hemisphere on the right, the women’s side, and you also discover “seas,” more numerous indeed, but of smaller dimensions and with gentler names, as more befitting the feminine temperament. First comes ‘Mare Serenitatis’, the Sea of Serenity, do expressive of the calm, tranquil soul of an innocent maiden. Near it is ‘Lacus Somniorum’, the Lake of Dreams, in which she loves to gaze at her gilded and rosy future. In the southern division is seen ‘Mare Nectaris’, the Sea of Nectar, Over whose soft heaving billows she is gently wafted by Love’s caressing winds, “Youth on the prow and Pleasure at the helm.” Not far off is ‘Mare Fecunditatis’, the Sea of Fertility, in which she becomes the happy mother of rejoicing children. A little north is ‘Mare Crisium’, the Sea of Crises where her life and happiness are sometimes exposed to sudden, and unexpected dangers which fortunately, however, seldom and fatally.
Far from the left, near the men’s side, is ‘Mare Vaporum’, the Sea of Vapors, into which, though it is rather small, and full of sunken rocks, she sometimes allows herself to wander, moody, and pouting, and not exactly knowing where she wants to go or what she wants to do. Between the two last expands the great ‘Mare Tranquillitatis’, the Sea of Tranquillity, into whose quiet depth are at least absorbed all her stimulated passions, all her futile aspirations, all her unglutted desires, and whose unruffled waters are gliding on forever in noiseless current towards Lacus Mortis, the Lake of Death, whose misty shores
“In ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods are girt.”
So at least Ardan mused as he stooped over Beer and Maedler’s map. Did not these strange successive names somewhat justify his fights of fancy? Surely they had a wonderful variety of meaning. Was it by accident by forethought deep that the two hemispheres of the Moon had been thus so strangely divided, yet, as man to women, though divided still united, and thus forming even in the cold regions of space a perfect image of our terrestrial existence? Who can say that our romantic French friend was altogether wrong in thus explaining the astute fancies of the old astronomers?”
– All Around the Moon, Jules Verne, 1869
Brooches, enameled copper, 2014
Photographer_ Huh, Myoung wook