“During an eclipse, be careful not to look at the sun”

“During an Eclipse, be careful not to look at the sun” is the boring advice you’ve heard 8754 times this last week. OF COURSE you won’t look at it, silly! Tell it firmly to the kids, and voilà.

BUT

As the “protect your eyes” thing is obvious, there’s another reason you shouldn’t look at the sun…

In 1999, a total eclipse of the sun happened in France. It was plain summer, and it’s been quite an event… I was at work, but needless to say we were all allowed to go outside to see this. “Be careful not to look at the sun”, right? OKey.

Ten minutes before it began, the Grand Place de Lille was FULL of a nervous what-if-it-was-the-end-of-the-world crowd. A small percentage of human beings had the appropriate device to “watch it face to face”. Then… it began.

And I can tell you that NO-BO-DY was watching the sun with their stupid glasses. You know why?

The mood of the world changed surreptitiously. Then it became darker. Then DARKER. The birds suddenly stopped singing, the cars stopped, the city stopped. The women, children and men on the place became silent. The night was there. In this quit surreal crowded silent mood, I saw the stars (ohhh), I was cold (yes, it was the night, really), and I’m pretty sure my hand was on my opened-in-a-awe mouth. And it’s pretty long!
I remember quite well the big quiet SIGH of the crowd, after the moon decided to go shadowing the Earth elsewhere – “Ahhhhh… It’s not the end of the world”. And nobody had their eyes burned!

 

Before an eclipse, you are allowed not to desperately shop for “Magic Stare at the Eclipse Glasses”, they’re useless : Be with your family on a hill. Be in a crowd on a place, and feel little and equal on our little planet.

Be prepared to be thrilled…

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day! Bonne journée!

 

Kar

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