Daily Archives: July 11, 2017

solar eclipse

Hope is a waking dream . ——Aristotle



I have planned for months to take a trip up north to view the upcoming total solar eclipse that will cross the continent .  I have a sister who lives in Coos Bay , Oregon , and my plan was to stay with her . The eclipse begins to cross the continent at Lincoln City , I heard , a beach town just a few miles north of Coos Bay . I’ve been looking forward for months now  to this unique event  .

All of this , I have been thinking , would be in September , when the eclipse would happen . Imagine my surprise last week when I read that the eclipse wasn’t going to happen in September . I suppose the rest of the universe already knew this . But not me . August ? August .

The trouble is that I am in Poland and our return flight to USA is scheduled for —– let’s see…………. , oh ! , Total Eclipse Day . Yeah , we will be in the air on August 21 . I hope that the pilot knows what s/he’s doing when the sky goes dark . Does s/he have to be wearing special dark glasses ?  Don’t ask me ;  I didn’t even know when the eclipse was coming .

Sometimes I get something stuck in the nether recesses of my mind and it’s stuck in  there way too long , even when it’s hopelessly unbased in fact .

I think that a certain friend of mine , months ago , told me that the eclipse was coming September 21 . I remember that moment . We were having a burger at a place called Hook . Not that I’m passing the buck and blaming him because I’m not , but I think that that misstatement months ago was the start of my stuck-in-the-mud misdirection and subsequent stubborn confusion .

The thing that worries me most about this is that my brain is probably full of this kind of misinformation . I am fully aware that much of what I think is real is real only for me and that other people see the world differently . I guess that’s life and the reality of individual realities . Had I paid more attention in philosophy class in college I might be better able to  explain this stuff . Meanwhile , I just mention it as one of the doubts I would have if I were one to ponder the intricacies of life in such a manner .

Luckily , I tend not to ruminate on such matters in such a manner if I can help it . ( I can almost hear Ada right now and other people who know me saying : ” Duh!” in a loud chorus . Even my plumber made a mildly censorious comment  [ if there is such a thing ] about the placement of a new toilet — but I won’t go into that right now .).  I think you’ll only drive yourself crazy to contemplate deeply serious aspects of life too often or too seriously . I think Kant said that .   Maybe it was Rod McKeun , though .  Socrates ? Mark Twain ?

Okay , forget it .

Oh , I’m not saying that I’m right . My apologies to you intellectuals out there , to you philosophers , to you diligent and thoughtful monks discussing issues such as how many angels will fit comfortably on the head of a pin .  (My Jesuit high school teachers would already be asking, I suspect  : What are the parameters of the pin ? The philosophy lecturer at UCLA would be asking : How do we even know the pin is actually there ? ) But , well , we all have a right to our own perceptions and misperceptions . Or , maybe we don’t . There must be a class out there , perhaps on-line : Philosophical Foundations of the Morality of Perception .  (But , I’m not going to sign up for it .)

But , you may have noticed , philosophers don’t run the world ( as far as I can tell ) . Angels , as I understand the abstraction , don’t run the world either . But these superficial observations  are  neither here nor there for our purposes today . So let’s move on .

I kind of wish that I had paid more attention to the actual date of this total solar eclipse . The last one across the US  , I read , happened  in 1979 . I don’t know how they work exactly , but I might have to wait until , say , about 2054 to watch the next one . Yeah ? I don’t know ; are they on a strict schedule ? ( Science was not one of my strong points in school , either, obviously ! I was lost , for example , in Chemistry 1 in 10th grade as soon as the teacher started discussing moles , which popped up in the first chapter of the textbook.  ) .

Too late in the game by 2054 or 2055 , I think .

Reminds me of the joke about the 100 year old man who volunteers to umpire a little league baseball game . The coaches are skeptical . They question him about his eyesight . He points out far- off objects and he describes them  in detail until the coaches are convinced that his sight is excellent and that he can do the job .ODDs and ENDs Poland 2015 009

Then the first pitch . The old man is silent .

Was it a strike ? Was it a ball ? He is still silent . The coaches begin to loudly question him . What was it ?  Make the call !

The old man says : ” I forgot .”

Jeez. I can’t even get the month of the eclipse straight ,  at my current age . Imagine me at the time that the next total solar eclipse passes across the continental US .  I wouldn’t put much hope in anticipation of any extraordinary powers of observation  of mine by then .

But , we’ll see .bb 2

train of thought


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