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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipsed. Missed It!

Sleeping on the job.  A night of a lifetime, gone forever.   


And here I missed it, a rare view of a burnt orange moon in a night sky, the pictures posted on Flickr, live video feeds from robotic telescopes, tracking the  Earth's Sky on Google. For all the nights I'm up writing, puzzling, working,  this night I slept through, like a log,  and in my dreamless sleep, I eclipsed a winter solstice marked by a lunar event of rare occurrence.


Dull, witless and without intent, I slept through and missed NASA's site, Up All Night.   


Knowing full well there was to be a total lunar eclipse, with peak viewing starting around 2:30 a.m, I took one last glimpse of the moon in misty distance from the living room window around midnight.   Slipped into bed with a book as usual, for a night like every other, drifted to sleep right through the event, unconscious of the opportunity passing, as a shadow passes through a starless night.   


Awake at 5:30 this morning: there was the moon, essentially as I had left it, full circle, now in cloud-cover and in view from the front hall window.  So much for my interior night sky watching.  So much for standing in the snow, robed and slippered, fully engaged and enthralled in the moment, mindful that I will not be here next time the opportunity comes around in 2094.  So much for the Canon shot I would have taken for memory's sake, stopping time at shutter-speed.  So much for being fully present, alive and well, and blissfully aware of the turn of the earth, the urgent call of the season, the rarest of lights in the sky, and the imperative to breath deep and experience that which we can see, only once, in a blink, in this life.


Dang, if I didn't sleep thru it.  


Wishing you happy holidays, and thanks for passing by.  




Photo Source: Emily S. Rueb/The New York Times

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