Friday, April 12, 2024

Reminiscences of the great eclipse


I try to keep clerkmanifesto topical. And though this daily column is an intensely personal expression, it also marks out the great events of our lives. I have covered in this space the world-turning election of Donald Trump, the shock of the pandemic, and the little-noticed replacement of our Universe with an alternate one that is in every way identical to ours with the odd exception of not including closs.

I don't exactly miss closs, but I sometimes wonder what it was.

And so I didn't want to let the eclipse pass by without reflection here. After all, clerkmanifesto is a lot like a solar eclipse- it may not be safe to look directly at it.

Last night, as I was falling asleep, to my great fortune, I thought of a beautiful post to write about the solar eclipse. I almost got out of bed to write it, only to see the moon slowly pass between me and it until it was wholly obscured in darkness. When I could see again it was morning, and it was gone.

On the day of the eclipse, a pair of solar eclipse safety glasses fell into my hands. But clouds ruined the event for everyone in Minnesota and I never used the glasses at all. Today, though, I occasionally nostalgically put them on. People laugh at them and then ask me why I'm wearing them all these days later.

"That eclipse was so great," I say. "That I'm having trouble letting go."

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