I suspect many of you have seen a partial eclipse (of the sun). But most of you probably haven’t seen a full eclipse. I haven’t.
And I hadn’t planned to stay in Kansas City where I am as I write this (‘helping’ my daughter and son-in-law celebrate the birth of their second child). Specifically, my wife and I had planned to return to home to DC on Sunday, having been here a full two weeks by then.
As it turns out, Sunday is the day before the August 21 full eclipse, and the view from the Kansas City area, which, according to NASA, is in “the path of totality.” Still, my own parents had always warned me about over staying one’s welcome.
Then I read Annie Dilliard’s Classic Essay: Total Eclipse, which has just been reprinted in The Atlantic. It was first published in 1986, and she quite convincingly writes that there is no comparison between a partial and a full eclipse. Beyond that, her essay is eyeopening and beautifully written.
I urge you to read it also, while I am in the process of changing my reservations back to DC, where the viewing is decent, but nothing close to what will be possible from here.