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« Weapons of Mass Distraction | Main | Start Your Day on A Positive Note .... »

March 30, 2006


I've never seen a total eclipse, but did witness the May 10, 1994 annular eclipse. My main memory is of the dizzying rings of light cast on the ground by the sun's shadows, beneath tree leaves and, when I leaned over, below the curls of my then long hair. Even understanding what was happening, I remember finding the phenomenon unnerving in its demonstration of how small we are in comparison with the scale of natural phenomena, and thinking that I could well understand the number of myths and superstitions connected with eclipses.

Have you ever read Annie Dillard's "Total Eclipse"? I remember loving it enough in high school that I photocopied it in the library so that I could keep a copy in my boarding school dorm room with me, but I haven't read it in years...

It is quite a show - a solar eclipse, total or partial. That diamond ring, when it forms before and after the darkness is as amazing as it looks in photos. And yes, just because eclipses are now demystified as yet another natural occurance, does not make them any less exciting. Laymen and metereologists alike, get excited about a total solar eclipse and travel long distances to witness one.

No, I have not read Annie Dillard's book. Is it about eclipses or is the title metaphorical? I love books about nature and weather. I hope to review a couple of them here some day.

Annie Dillard is a nature writer, and "Total Eclipse" is an essay about an actual eclipse. It's only ten or fifteen pages. I am quite a fan of good nature and science writing, as well, and would welcome more recommendations in that genre.

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