Blog # 184        DARKNESS AT NOON

This time the dynamics of nature was not subject to denial. The immense drama and eerie light show of yesterday’s lunar eclipse were universally witnessed and emotionally experienced.

It occurred irrespective of our earthly, mundane concerns, exorbitant college tuition, the latest saber rattling from North Korea, the inane tweet du jour from a caricature President, thoughts about lunch options; it actually happened.

To be sure, we were afforded adequate notice of the imminent event, and offered sufficient information regarding its meaning and dynamics; we were admonished not to look directly at it, and advised to purchase special eyeglasses for its safe viewing; but what a spectacle!

Even persistently resolute climate change and evolution deniers were obliged to take notice that our planet is part of an empirically demonstrated solar system, and not a creative object in their fictional and reductionist belief systems.

Scientists were fortunate enough to derive some additional information in the area of solar studies, particularly concerning the sun’s corona, which reportedly detaches huge fireballs of matter into space. It is inarguable that the pursuit of scientific inquiry and knowledge is of crucial importance to the development of mankind and ultimately, to its safety and survival.

Nevertheless, we would maintain that the greatest and most profound impact was occasioned to the human psyche, in the candid realization that we are merely hapless witnesses to nature’s irreversible and awesome dynamic and possess only the limited ability and the responsibility, in our own interest, to protect our immediate environment.

People of all nations, ethnos, cultures and belief systems, alike, were witnesses to the  truly awesome, possibly frightening, event unfolding before them, over which we have absolutely no control and limited understanding. The experience was real and dramatic, and was in its objectivity, unrelated and totally indifferent to the existence of mankind, and therefore profoundly humbling. It served to remind homo- sapiens that he is but a temporal and hapless resident of a planet which is evidently a minor part of an infinite and dynamic universe.

Many unenlightened people will quickly resume their customary petty concerns and egotistical aspirations; others will be wisely grateful in the recognition that we have been given the valuable franchise to, at least, be walk-on players in the universe’s colossal amphitheater.


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

One thought on “Blog # 184        DARKNESS AT NOON”

  1. Dear P.
    This is one of my favorite of your posts. Absolutely beautiful. I shall be forwarding to friends and family (esp the astrophysicists and nuclear physicists). Thank you for this moving post.


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