Archive for the ‘Apollo’ Tag

Moon Priestess

Where now the columns that lifted
Their snowy tops to the sacred Moon?
Where now the walls, writ over with
Runes of power and virtue?
Where now the altars, cunningly carved,
Which smoked with incense and sacrifices?
Where now the priestesses and their chants,
Singing songs of praise to the holy Selene?

Her Brother, Bright Phoebus, has traversed the sky
Day after untold day.
The countless leaves have fallen to the forest floor
And turned to dust and mold,
And blown through the sanctified doors,
Till all that remains is broken stone and whispering ghosts.
Lonely are the ancient spirits, crying their pious lament:
We have ne’er forgot Thee, Huntress Maid!

  • — Harper Ganesvoort

Tranquility Base Plus 40 Years

Writing from Gulf Shores, Alabama….

I don’t remember all the specifics of that incredible July 20, 1969.  But, like Pearl Harbor or the assassination of John Kennedy, I remember where I was.  It was a Sunday, and we were fastened to the television that day; we drank in every thing that Walter Cronkite was saying, along with whoever was in the studio along with him.  We listened to the voices coming back to us from over 200,000 miles away, sometimes unintelligable, most times talking gibberish to the “layperson,” while Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin guided their fragile little bug down to the surface of the Moon. 

And yet we couldn’t get enough of it.  It was — and remains to this day — the single biggest event in the history of the planet, when we at last “slipped the surly bonds of earth” and set halting foot on another celestial body.  The words of Armstrong as he stepped off the landing foot of the Lunar Module were burned into my mind.  I was 10 years old, and had been raised on a diet of Star Trek, and this was the first step down the road to that possible future. 

We’ve seemingly lost a little of the dream since then — no person has been back to the Moon, never mind another planet in the Sol system, since 1972, though we continue to send unmanned probes on extra-Terran and even extra-system flights.  But the potential is still there, and we have shown that it can be done.  That will be the most enduring legacy of Apollo 11, and one that we will, hopefully, live up to again.

Harper's signature

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