You are made of elements created in the depths of a dying star. You are made of the universe. You are the universe embodied and breathing, and the universe experiences itself through your senses.
That swept through my mind as I watched the moment of totality during the August 21st’s solar eclipse. I didn’t know what to expect from that moment, so the tears that welled up in my eyes took me by surprise. The experience was literally indescribable*.
In the days leading up to the eclipse, there was a letter by an optometrist going around social media urging people to stay home and watch the eclipse on TV. I understand the importance of making sure people take the risks seriously**, but it was shameful to tell people to miss the miraculous experience of being there in person if they could be. No matter how good your TV is, it cannot give you the experience of the sudden coolness, the sudden darkness – the awe-inspiring sight in person.
Some beauty comes with risks and sacrifices, as when you go into faerie land to come back mad or a poet. Or as when you fall in love. You owe it to the sacred universe that you embody to experience as much love and beauty as you can in the short time that you are on this earth.
** I was in danger of losing the sight in one eye earlier this year due to a retinal tear – I do not mess around when it comes to my eyes.