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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The moon on the perigee...and Einstein

by Maria Eleanor Elape Valeros
June 7, 2004; posted at www.thefreeman.com

TO stand rapt in awe, to always wonder that though heavenly bodies are untacked they behave in a manner more sensible than those I voted for in the recent elections. These were whirlings on my mind when I watched the earth cast its shadow on the surface of the moon. Einstein’s words, etched on my mind, pained me to have felt all this without being able to pen my feelings.

I’m glad am back. I lost this space for sometime now. It had to go, shelved, canned! It pained because it was the only space that made for logical writing. The rest was outright madness. The rest of the pieces I did were like playing jigsaw puzzle, trying hard to fit one piece of detail just to complete a form. This space gave me the freedom to read and write about the world the way I see, feel, hear, touch and taste it.

“The most beautiful thing we can witness is the mysterious. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; eyes closed.” Physicist and father of relativity, Albert Einstein, said.

It is believed that man has inhabited planet Earth for some two million years, probably longer. Yet even now that he is able to conquer disease, wield vast destructive power and even reach out to his planetary neighbors, man remains divided on the most vital questions: Is there a God? Is God male or female, or both? What is human life? What is its purpose? What is its significance, its ultimate destiny? And if there can be found any answers to the seemingly endless tangle of questions confronting us, those answers should satisfy all religions, all philosophies, all sciences, all peoples.

To stand rapt in awe. To always be mesmerized. To never stop believing of the possibility of another life form other than us in this universe, and of other universes alongside our own. As good as dead. As good as being a vegetable. As good as nothing.

Dead people don’t question, dead people
don’t think anymore of the future, dead people can never be pleased by the small rewards of life. Dead people are not taken aback by the ebbs and flows of tide, by the twittering of birds, by the rapping of tropical rain, by an awesome sunset.

It was just one moon. One good old moon cast upon by the earth’s shadow. Maybe nothing spectacular about it anymore as lunar eclipses are natural phenomena. But for a time, my life stood still. I was out there on the street looking up at the sky outside my working place, rapt in awe, admiring a cloudless sky, a rotund moon momentarily darkened by our planet’s shadow. For a time, I forgot about how agonizing life can become in this country, divided by contradicting ideologies. For a while, I felt some sense of renewal awash my soul.

There was one harvest moon and an old fellow Einstein to inspire me for this comeback, for this space I thought I had already lost to cost-cutting measures.©