2024 Eclipse Aftermath

I write this blog entry on Tuesday April 9, 2024. It is the day after the Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2024.

Today, a software CD that I ordered arrived. The envelope was marked “Fragile: Handle with Care”. Inside, I found a
shattered disk, shattered in plastic shards. I ordered it from the American Astronomical Society. It was
Lunar Tables & Programs CD . It written in BASIC by Michelle Chapront-Touze & Jean Chapront.

I hope they send me a new disk.

The tables are mathematical formulae, trigonometric sums, with dozen of terms to account from subtle effects, tidal, gravitational attractions from Jupiter and the other planets, general relativistic time dilation from the Sun’s gravity field, effects that I don’t understand.

“When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter is aligned with Mars, then peace will guide the Planets, and love will steer the Stars…This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.” Fifth Dimension song.Age of Aquarius cover Aquarius, the water sign of the Water Pourer, is irrigating the new fields, the new seeds of the new age.

On the days leading to the eclipse, I had hatched several plans. Drive to St Genevieve on 55 South. Go to Doniphan and see the eclipse there. Drive to the Eleven Point State park. My wife reminded me that she had a really important doctors appointment on Tuesday, today. And that she didn’t want me lost on some highway in Arkansas. So I decided to stick to my habit and see the Eclipse at my usual spot — Free Speech zone number 13 at the the Gateway National Park. In retrospect, it was a wise decision.

Yesterday, Monday April 8th, I parked my car where I always park near Kiener park. I got a cup of coffee at my usual coffee shop.

That’s where that day’s reality diverged from pattern. As, I walked down the downtown streets — normally empty and ghostly — were filled with office workers, shoulder to should, all looking up at the sky. The rapture, the end of the world. What I imagine after a public service announcement. Everyone was taking an after lunch work break from their jobs; step outside their skyscrapers, stand on the sidewalks and look up at the sky. They all faced the same direction — the sun high in the sky towards the south west. The sky was sky blue, a wonderful day to see an eclipse.

I came to the Gateway Arch National Park at about 1 pm yesterday, The Park was like a rock concert: full of people, baby strollers, everyone all goofy looking up with those eclipse glasses. I played songs on the guitar. I was playing “where have all the flowers gone?” at about 19 Zulu, and I looked up and saw it. I was so flustered I lost the song. So I played “Age of Aquarius” by the Fifth Dimension. The eclipse was over at 3 pm and I left.

I was struck by the sheer power of it all. As Mark Twain wrote, “In the stillness and the darkness, realization soon began to supplement knowledge. The mere knowledge of a fact is pale; but when you come to realize your fact, it takes on color. It is all the difference between hearing of a man being stabbed to the heart, and seeing it done…”

I had thought of driving down to the Eleven Point park near Doniphan to see true totality. But I stuck to my predictable habits, drive downtown, walk to the Arch, play your guitar, go home. I think I made the right decision. I saw 99%. I saw day turn to night. I saw the sun blotted out by the moon. And I got to stay in my comfortable bubble, playing my guitar.

Luke-8 “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky ate it up. And some seed fell on [shallow soil covering] the rocks, and as soon as it sprouted, it withered away, because it had no moisture… Let my seeds of hope find fertile grounds and moisture, and grow.

Aquarius Sign

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