Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Definition of the Moon

I've never dared to second-guess the choices by Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders of Apollo 8, the first space mission to leave Mother Earth and travel to another planet, our moon.

They were the first to see Earth alone, and entire.

On December 24, 1968, they broadcast this message as they circled the moon for the ninth time -- the first ten verses of the Biblical Book of Genesis, using the King James translation.

William Anders:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Jim Lovell:

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Frank Borman:

And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

I found this photo on a woman's defunct blog, and just as it has no attribution here, it had none there either. She did say something, though, about it being her "definition of the moon." Or perhaps it was "my picture of the moon."   I cannot recall.

But in some moments spent failing dreadfully at mindfulness meant to squash severe physical pain and the ever-present specter of psychic torture, I found myself ripped in two -- between the men on their ninth rotation 'round the moon and this woman's chosen photo, unattributed, that reflected her understanding of that orb.

Yeah, yeah, yeah:  perspective.

Still, I ask you:  What would you choose?  Or, if you break out in a rash at open-ended essays, what would you have chosen to say to an Earth audience on December 24, 1968 (the date begging so many questions as to require medical marijuana)?  If you cannot speak, and now, thanks to that thought, I'll be thinking of the many ways in which my readers may have lost their speech, from force of will to tongue slashing -- If you cannot speak, refer me to the photo of your choice.  Unless you have no use of limbs, and nothing directable by eye movement or the witty manipulation of a straw.

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