By Steve Skinner
Everyone looks better in the dark. And the timing could not be better. A dark stripe just raced across the undergarment of the world … plunging us all into a state of perplexed equality and totality.
We should turn out the lights more often.
Spending time in total totality brings perspective. I guess the world doesn’t revolve around me after all. There is a universe out there (and maybe even more than one).
How small we are. Even a big man disappears in totality.
Totality is an opportunity to reset, to stop the war machine in mid-stride.
On May 28, 585 B.C. A total eclipse stunned combatants in a pitched battle in the war between the Medes and the Lydians. The men in battle took the darkness as an omen and agreed to a truce.
The war between stubborn kings had raged for six years with no end in sight. The sun and moon colluded to conclude the madness. Funny, one of those kings was the king of Media. King Alyattes of Lydia was at war with King Cyaxares of Media. Now our king is at war with media.
When it comes to totality, what goes around comes around.
Here on our continent it has been 99 years since the moon and sun have conspired for a cross-country dance. The fundamental Christians may be right this time. Some fundamentalists see this event as the dark omen signaling the coming end times and ultimately, the second coming of Christ. Hell, anything’s possible. And these days nothing would surprise me.
Christians have nothing on pagans. At the Loughcrew Megalithic Monument in County Meath in Ireland there’s a site that archeologists believe corresponds with a total eclipse of the sun on November 30, 3340 BC. Writhing participants left behind enduring petroglyph spirals and charred human remains. Nothing says eclipse party like burning bones.
And you thought we were savages.
We think we know everything.
And so did the ancient Chinese who in the year 2134 B.C. were already sophisticated enough to be creating documents and writing books. Two Chinese royal astronomers named Ho and Hsi were charged with warning people of such events so citizens could make bows and arrows to shoot the sun-eating dragon out of the sky. The astronomers got drunk instead and lost their heads on the chopping block.
Now we know better than to think that as solar eclipse is the result of a massive dragon eating the sun … at least some of us think we do.
Everyone now knows that Christopher Columbus was a total fraud. He claimed to have discovered America when there were already countless of Native Americans already here.
In 1503, during his exploration of the Central American coast, Columbus was forced to stop his boat for emergency repairs in Jamaica. When the locals turned on him and his crew, Columbus consulted his almanac and told the locals that the moon would turn blood red because the gods were pissed of at them for not providing food and women. On February 29, 1504, the lunar eclipse happened right on schedule and the baffled Jamaicans got back on the Cristopher Columbus bandwagon. Another lie!
Look at the sky. Could there be things happening out there that we don’t understand? Maybe.
Star KIC 8462852, also known as Boyajian’s star or “Tabby’s star,” was named for Tabetha Boyajian who led a team that discovered exotic fluctuations in the star’s brightness. The team used Nasa’s cutting edge Kepler Telescope to study the suddenly shady star. A steady dimming that is way too fast to attribute to a dying star is being explained by some as a construction project by an alien civilization.
Local astronomer David Aguilar, a man who has a telescope the size of a Volkswagen bus in his yard, is convinced that the mysterious dimming is the result of an alien race building some kind of scaffold around the star. Could aliens be constructing their own state of totality? Maybe they are addressing climate change on their own planet by controlling the heat of their sun. We may have to try something like that next with our hot sun.
I have no knowledge of these alien phenomena but I do know that here on earth, when totality descends, we all disappear and we all look the same. We are all of the same race and there is no separateness, just total humanity.
I can’t explain why on Saturday I dropped everything and headed for Driggs, Idaho. I, like thousands of others was drawn to the spectacle of totality, mortality and perhaps morality that comes from being plunged into astronomic night, in the middle of the day. Like those that came before, I too, am afraid of the dark.
Steve Skinner thinks that we are not alone. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.