I was lucky enough to be in the path of totality for the eclipse, but I was worried because the forecast was for clouds. Fortunately, the clouds mostly dissipated right before the eclipse began. There were wisps drifting in and out, but the clouds parted for totality.

And I have to say, that was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever experienced. It was early afternoon, but it was like night. The street lights came on. I could see what I later learned were Venus and Jupiter. It got a lot colder all of a sudden. I went to the neighborhood park across the street, and a number of other people from the neighborhood were also there. A cheer went up when totality occurred. I had my Walkman radio on, since the classical radio station had a special playlist. As the eclipse was starting, they played Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, music from Close Encounters and ET, and stuff like that (watching the sun go dark during the Close Encounters music was eerie). As totality approached, they played a lovely version of Clair de Lune. Then as totality happened, they played the “Sunrise” fanfare from Also Sprach Zarathustra, aka the 2001 theme. That was absolutely perfect.

I didn’t take any pictures of the eclipse itself because I don’t have the equipment for that and I wanted to focus on the moment, but this was what the world looked like during totality. It’s hard to believe this was about 1:43 in the afternoon on a mostly sunny day.

This looks like a nighttime photo of a pond and a bridge. The streetlights are on, casting an eerie light. But it's about 1:42 in the afternoon, during totality of the solar eclipse.
This isn’t a nighttime view. It’s 1:42 in the afternoon, during totality of the eclipse.

One thing that struck me was how light it got the moment a sliver of sun reappeared. It was still sort of dim and twilight-looking, but it was still noticeably daytime, not the night of totality.

Now, of course, I find myself wanting to work an eclipse into a fantasy novel. It was a magical moment, so it seems like a time when magic can happen. I know it’s kind of a cliche, especially the whole loophole in a “night and day at the same time” sort of curse (like in the movie Ladyhawke) but sometimes the cliches happen because something is true.

2 Responses to “Eclipsed”

  1. Debra

    The full totality moment was really special. I have now taken to threatening my office with a sacrifice list…..

    • Shanna Swendson

      After playing the 2001 music as totality began, the classical station then played Rite of Spring, so I guess they were providing the soundtrack for eclipse-related human sacrifices.

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