Photo taken by Andrew Joseph Pegoda, May 1, 2015, Lake Jackson, Texas
After trying and trying to capture my ideas prompted by this photograph in the form of haiku, I opted to write a brief essay. The moon—an evening fireball—is such a unique and mysterious object. Acknowledging that in the 50s and 60s, people thought they were moments away from having colonies on the moon is hard to believe. We are all so accustomed to (kind of) seeing the moon, we don’t acknowledge its power very often. Without the moon, scientists say, life would pretty much be impossible. The moon makes tides possible and gives Earth its shape and keeps gravity in check. And yet, the moon keeps moving farther and farther from Earth. Like all parts of life, the moon is mysterious and inspires humility and ah! This photograph and recollections of wonderful debates with students this week related to “does reality exist?” (no need to speculate about my position!) reinforce notions of uniqueness and life. Every single fraction of every micro second is absolutely unique to each and every bit of life. No one thing will ever happen again, and no one collection of atoms and cells will ever see or hear the same thing ever again. Every fraction of a micro second is constituted of billions and billions of observations, thoughts, and memories.