Tuesday, August 22, 2017

your umbra, my penumbra



The National Aeronautics and Space Administration defines an eclipse as an event where one heavenly body such as a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another heavenly body. There are generally two kinds of eclipses: a lunar eclipse where the Earth blocks the sunlight that is normally reflected by the moon and a solar eclipse where the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching the earth. In cases on total solar eclipses, the sky becomes very dark, as if it were night.

I remember holding your hand as we made our way through the crowd. I remember the beads of sweat glistening on your forehead as we looked for our perfect spot. I remember the strength of your arms, your sinewy muscles as you laid out a blanket on the damp grass. I remember you squinting your eyes, your right hand resting on your brow as you struggled to see.

The sky began to darken as we sat down. I squeezed your hand tighter as the crowd began to scream louder and louder. Through high-powered lenses, we watched as the moon emerged, encroaching gently on the sun. I watched as that big ball of light faded into unnatural shapes - a bitten apple, a child's toy, an orange wedge, slowly retreating to a fingernail. The crowd grew in fervor and despite warnings from the government, a number looked directly at the sun. How could you look away when you know that these things only happen once in a lifetime?

I didn’t look at the sun. I didn’t look through the lens. I was looking at you. You were all at once so beautiful, so curious, and yet so dangerous. I could’ve stayed there looking at you forever. The sight of you was more beautiful, more breathtaking than the sun, moon, and Earth combined.

For what seemed like a millisecond, the whole world was wrapped in darkness. I held my breath and closed my eyes, letting the sound of the crowd, the warm August air, the grip of your hand, the magnitude of a solar eclipse in our lifetime – I let it all wash over me. For a second, I was no longer in my body. I had somehow found a way to fly away into the darkness. I was floating in zero gravity. I had never felt so calm, so free. That’s probably why I didn’t notice you’d let go of my hand. You let go of me.

I opened my eyes. It was the afternoon again. The crowd began to put their cameras and their sandwiches away. Everywhere, everyone was moving on with their day. It was as though the eclipse and all that came with it had never happened. I looked to where you were but you were gone. I searched through your face in the crowd but you weren’t there. Why did I look away when a love like yours only happens once in a lifetime?

In the middle of it all, it was as if the moon stayed put and there was nothing but darkness. Some eclipses last a few seconds. Some stay for a few minutes. Some of us are still waiting for the sun to come back.

♫: Jill Andrews | Total Eclipse of the Heart (2013)
Photo: eclipse
Text: NASA

10 comments:

  1. i went home early from work to make sure I am ready for this but in the spot of the world where i am, all i've seen is darkness. :-(

    but the best part of it is, i was home early. hahahaha...

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    1. JJ: It still must have been a hoot to be in the darkness momentarily! Haha but congrats on getting home early.

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  3. "It was as though the eclipse and all that came with it had never happened."

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    1. LoF: I like how you found this defiant line. I edited it out, put it back in, edited out, and then finally decided to leave it there. Maybe it's a sign of things to come? It hurts now but one day it'll be just like it didn't happen.

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  4. "I could’ve stayed there looking at you forever. The sight of you was more beautiful, more breathtaking than the sun, moon, and Earth combined."

    grabe ka nyl, ang husay mo talagang humabi ng mga salita. sa edad kong ito, kinilig pa rin ako! :)

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    1. Aris: Masaya ako para sayo pero grabe ka naman sa "edad kong ito." I think making "pakilig" is one of my favorite Aris attributes so I'm so happy to hear you felt this way with one of my posts.

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  5. I really like how your words has left me in awh. Up until now I feel like I can relate to this entry.

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    1. Simon: Uy! Long time no see! Thank youuuuu

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  6. Wala pa ring kupas sa paghabi ng mga salitang nakakapagpahanga sa mga katulad kong fan ng blog na ito. Husay talaga!

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