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The eclipse done right - #390

A few months ago, I experienced something amazing. I saw an eclipse of the sun at Sugarloaf. That's accurate, but does nothing to convey what it was.

I've tried, but I haven't found a way of writing about it that works. Even when I got home and talked with my nature-loving neighbor, neither of us could quite put it into words. The thing we saw and the place where we were are somehow incommunicable.

Maybe it's that experiences of awe are subjective. And my usual "good point" essays in this email don't rise to the level of art required to communicate the subjective. My kids, on the other hand, got the experience exactly right in their art. Last weekend, at their end of semester symposium, I spotted them from far across the room: their paintings the eclipse at Sugarloaf and captured the moment, the place, and the feeling. I could feel being there: the rushing wind, the shimmering reflections running along the snow, the prominences on the side of the sun, just past the rocky peak.

That's the feeling I got from reading the essay linked below: I was there. Annie Dillard art is to put you in Washington in 1982, driving over the mountains, into a valley, and then up to the hills to watch the end of the world.


original-Jun-07-2024-01-32-56-5121-PMTotal Eclipse

"Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him."

—Annie Dillard