While driving along I-270 this morning on my way to Cincinnati,
But it doesn't really matter. Before I saw that billboard time clock this morning I didn't have any idea what time the the Totality - the moments of the total eclipse of the the sun (or as close to total as will depend upon one's location) - was taking place. Nor was I intending to seek out that information.
Because I'm not doing The Eclipse. I won't be outside tomorrow afternoon looking for it.
I figure I'll just go on about my business while that placid dame, the moon's Celestial Highness steals for a few moments from the sun the light she nightly borrows,* and then later I'll look at the beautiful pictures that will be posted all over the internet.
But I won't be watching The Eclipse in real time.
Because I've always been afraid of eclipses. I'm afraid of eclipses the same way I'm afraid of water because I don't know how to swim and bees because I'm very allergic to their sting.
I'm afraid of eclipses because looking at one can make a person go blind. Or so it was drilled into myself and all the other youngsters who, back in 1963, experienced our first eclipse.
"Don't look!" we were told by the adults, "not even a quick peek!"
Rather, all kids back then were given instructions, carried in every newspaper in the country at that time and passed on to us from our worried parents, to build this sort of camera obscura box thing, which involved poking a pin-hole in one side of a large cardboard box then holding the box over your head while you aimed the pin-hole at the sun just before the eclipse then watched as the circle of sunlight produced on the inside of the box was decimated to a thin corona before reappearing in full.
Of course the dang thing didn't work for me or any of my friends who stood holding boxes over our heads hoping to see a shadow play of The Eclipse.
But it did keep us all from going blind.
So I intend to keep from going blind this time, too.
I know there are approved glasses you can wear.
I'll probably stay inside, anyway.
But if I do happen to go outside during The Eclipse I will not life mine eyes heavenwards to see the stars and planets come out.
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