After such a high, I am feeling melancholy. I just watched a recording from 60 Minutes last week about the moon landing in 1968, 50 years ago at Christmastime. It was a terrible year filled with riots and assassinations that would alter the course of our country's history. The moon landing and orbits by Apollo 8 crew was watched by more people than ever before. And to us, these men said, upon viewing the awesome splendor of planet earth rising over the moonscape:
- William Anders
We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
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.
- James Lovell
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 called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good.
- And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.
But like many of you, I worry. I worry mostly for the world our grandchildren, and their children, will inherit. I'm going to be an old woman in the blink of an eye, a person who easily gets cold and no amount of thermostatic increase will help much. I'm going to face the assaults and ailments of an aging body but also the freedom and release from the passions of youth: the aspirations for material goods and for conquests of all kinds. I am already experiencing the detachment of someone who has lived long and seen a lot. So, perhaps I can let go and breathe a little easier.
Then I read with horror of the death of another migrant child, or the trauma our children are suffering from the 'active shooter' drills in our schools, and I want to possess super human strength and rip some heads off: the NRA, the GOP, FOX News, fat cat one percenters who live only for themselves behind their guarded gates and security systems.
You'd think after all these years I would find a way to have some peace about all of this. But I don't. Not sure I ever will. Or should.
And then there is this: Astronaut Anders so taken with the sight, that even though they had limited amounts of film and were supposed to be taking pictures of the moon, he was moved to make a series of photographs, including this:
Over and out. God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.