By Parson Thru
I’m reading my course-book on the train. It’s one of those July evenings when the sun details buildings and illuminates trees as rain etches diagonals on the window-glass.
My eyes are drawn to the bookmark in the cleft of the page – a colour photograph of earth seen from the moon.
It’s a half-earth, risen just a few degrees above lunar mountains that stand abnormally crisp and bright.
Earth (demanding of the personal pronoun) shines blue, gold and white against the deepest infinite black. The cliché comes to mind about hanging in space with nothing holding her up – a description that stopped my breath the first time I read it.
I try to imagine standing in that place – the photographer’s bequest to humankind. I sense the enormity filling the sky – turning before me in nothingness – familiar shapes appearing out of the black. I watch them rotate out of view. All of human history goes with them.
I am suddenly lonely. This moment, and all of life before it, is so improbable and so profoundly real.
I look up from the bookmark, taking in the city and its rush-hour chaos as seen through the photographer’s eyes.