Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I hope that whereever you were, you were able to witness last night's conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus. It was lovely and special, really, in an old-fashioned, Romantic way -- a way that makes one think about the types of things that may have passed for entertainment and surprise in earlier times.
I'm often wistful when witnessing extremely rare occurrences like this one. I remember getting sad and anxious during the US Bicentennial year 1976. We lived very close to one of the "Crossroads of the American Revolution," and there were re-enactments galore of famous battles and historical events for well over a year. My eight-year-old mind didn't look upon these events with even a shred of cynicism, and I'm glad now that my parents made an effort to attend some of them with me.
However, even though I don't think I expressed it outwardly, I remember getting anxious and even sad thinking about the fact that if we skipped or missed any part of the events, that we'd never get a chance to see them again -- ever -- because there wouldn't be another similar celebration until the Tricentennial, one hundred years hence. It may have been one of the first times I pondered some nascent recognition of mortality, because I could relate it to concrete events. I knew what it meant; I knew somehow that there was probably very little chance that I'd live to be 108 years old. At the same moment I must have thought about what that span of a century meant compared to human lives, the lives of me and my family members. There were certain special things -- or so I thought -- that really could only be experienced once in a lifetime.
(And yes, sometime after age eight, I learned about sesquicentennials and also about the crude and somewhat unsophisticated air surrounding historical reenactments.)
So, while not to stir any anxiety in you, I do hope you were able to witness last night's astral event.
Because it's said that the next time it will occur will be after my eighty-fourth birthday.
photo from Flickr.com
Posted by Joe at 22:08