Tuesday, August 22, 2017

THoughts upon the Eclipse, August 21, 2917

Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man, Thy glory may not see:
Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty,
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Kenneth Tanner summed up his experience on Facebook:

Kenneth Tanner
The totality—in Cookeville, TN, ours lasted two and half minutes—exceeded any imagined expectation. I just had no idea how beautiful it would be.
For those few moments the moon was transfigured, a black hole in the sky, surrounded by an intensely white garland radiating out from the lunar circle in the narrowest petals of flickering brightness.

Before the totality the light gradually faded but not like a sunset. There were still dark shadows from trees on the ground as if at midday and yet a kind of grey gauze hung in the air.
At the moment of totality it was as if someone switched a light off in a room and it was dark except at all edges of the atmosphere, which were aglow with fire as though the sun had just fallen below the horizon in a 360 sunset.

And there in the sky like a round onyx the illusion of a still moon with a diamond-like corona ablaze with bright white light the quality of which I am sure I have never before seen in nature.
It was like seeing the world that's coming to this world for a brief moment, seeing what a halo might look like circling the head of a saint, or what the verges of a tree might look like in the kingdom.
The eclipse itself was exceedingly clear unlike the photos I've seen from today, and the corona not at all fiery red like photos I've seen from past eclipses.

I've been driving back to Michigan the last three hours (Debbie is driving now) so I've not been able to see what kind of captures the best video people were able to record but I doubt anyone mirrored the live experience.

A physicist at Tennessee Tech told me this morning that there has not been an eclipse of this magnitude on North America since 1485 and that there won't be one quite like it again until 2485. I told Arthur we just witnessed something very few humans see in their lifetimes.
 I can see why people might chase these around the world. I already have a deep longing to go back to that moment. I'm going to try to carry it with me. Always. So glad Deb got us on the road (I don't like to leave my routines, especially for nature) but this was such an awe-inspiring moment to share with her and Arthur.

View of a lifetime

Photographs from the 2017 total solar eclipse above Oregon


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