Thoughts and an artwork inspired by a solar eclipse
A solar eclipse is wonderfully rare. The shadow of our moon from a total eclipse will only be thrown onto the same location on earth once every 375 years. If you are able to travel a thousand miles, it occurs just frequently enough to experience once in a lifetime. If the moon traveled in a circular orbit on the same plane we would observe an eclipse every month, but when something happens only now and again at changing intervals, and in different places, the event takes on a far greater significance.
I have enjoyed many partial eclipses, yet so far, only one total solar eclipse. I waited along with others on sand dunes close to land's end on the west coast of England as the extraordinary spectacle unfurled: the darkening sky, the birds that rushed out to sea, the hush of my neighbours, the strange otherworldly swirling mass of light around our lunar disk, the spontaneous applause, gasps and cheers of humans in awe at witnessing a celestial phenomenon.
Now and then, for a few moments, we are in the shadow of our moon. It is as if we touch a place far removed from daily life as we stand under those two great forces that shape the earth. Aligned, we live in shared experience with our ancesters, our descendants. The shadow that falls across our worlds, long before and yet to come.