staring at the sun

For one brief, shining moment, we gathered near strangers, didn’t fear for our lives, and watched the moon blot out the sun. The moon & sun were gliding all over fly-by land, giving us a quick peek at our natural selves; amazed, amused and/or otherwise distracted from the chaos of our own creation. We thought about our place in the universe, among the other animals making noises and clustering together.

Preparing for the solar eclipse

We learned our science lessons (although some paid closer attention than others). Some, who should be role models, stared straight at the sun even when told not to.

Some of us became dumb animals again. Our lizard brains and senses urged our poor congested brain cells that were trying to sort out our society’s poisons to just shut up for a minute. Just smile, love and breathe.

Well, not all of us. Some fretted about the loss of “productivity“. I mean, how do we reconcile being a human with the guilt of contributing to almost $700 million dollars loss? Should we all run back to the office and work all night?

I think not. I think Challenger, Gray & Christmas (who estimated that massive dollar loss) should think about the real loss of “productivity” that America has suffered since last November. Every day, our brains are assaulted with more barbaric ideas coming faster and louder, twitterfried or barked at online. How distracted have we been from our tasks at hand? How different are our thoughts and efforts now that monsters carrying guns are screaming at us with tiki torches?

Now the brief respite is over. We slog back to work, and turn back to our hopeless little screens for news about the problems we face, built on sins of the past. Exploitation of people and resources, and the ongoing repercussions of the twin sins of genocide and slavery. Ongoing assaults on our neighbors, friends and fellow citizens abound.

Yes, we need to think through solutions to the human condition we’ve created, and keep our jobs producing all those things and services Challenger, Gray and Christmas think are important. Just please, let’s not leave our animal selves at the door. We’re needed, all parts of us, if we’re going to really get busy and “productive.”

Image credit: the photo used in this story was provided by the author, Suz Korbel.
Suz Korbel

Susan Korbel

Graduating in '71 from Cornell gave me a few unencumbered years of protesting, followed by 4 happy hipster grad student/worker years at U of Michigan, completing a Ph.D. in public administration. Followed a comedian to San Francisco, then my heart to Austin Texas to learn the TV business, dabbled in hot&heavy politics in DC, and returned to Austin & San Antonio, Texas to hone my political/media skills. I make my money conducting consumer and political opinion studies.