Pretty Wild: Our “Over-Hyped” Solar Eclipse

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The recurrent hype train rolled through town yet again, this time with enough cosmic inertia to empty office buildings during peak hours on this otherwise lackluster Monday.  The bench-clearer came in the form of a solar eclipse, advertised with the Mortal Combat-esque term, “totality,” as the moon set a moving pick on the sun for the first time since February 26, 1979.  We planned and traveled, seeking the best vantages for this solar power outage in hopes of witnessing the “once in a lifetime” happening.  Bandwagon celestial sight seers, present yourselves.  The Feeds are inundated with content, and our eye balls contended just fine, yet the after taste, a generalization adduced by the aforementioned feeds, is notably sour.  To my naysayers, the ones who chastised our 60 seconds of totality as another commercialized ploy gone pseudo-Hallmark Holiday, you are unequivocally amiss.

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 Statically, it was baffling…orbited overlaps in the infinite cosmos is much sicka than yo average.  Ascetically, it was mesmerizing…the crucible of human life was temporarily extinguished, albeit brief.  Yet still, our hands are raised asking for some form of divine refund; our $10 eclipse goggles was money ill-spent and ill-advised.  Perhaps your city wasn’t on the Path of Totality; the Big Apple was a few degrees off and SoCal was completely remised.  Perhaps your research was too minute, leaving you ignorant to the astrological Jackpot we were privy to witness.  For those who balked at the occurrence and to the office managers who deemed it unworthy of Lunch Break numero dos, paining the loss Q3 numbers would encumber by the 20 minute field trip down stairs, it’s Pretty Wild how off the mark you are.  You see, the sticker cost of yesterdays eclipse, while suggestively free, was in fact, priceless.

People watching solar eclipse

Forbes reported an conservative estimate based on the eclipses viewership, during peak hours on a business day.  To me, the $695M loss is negligible when compared to the life experience we debited by simply looking heavenward.  Equally, the optical risk was well-worth the scenic reward, a prize most won’t be able to receive again in their life.  While on the topic of “experience” we normally understand that the devil is in the details.  But, in the case of Totality, it’s much more about big-picture.

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The birth of your first daughter.  The loss of your virginity.  The ceremony of your third marriage.  These are the events that montage as you head towards the afterlife, as they stand to be the moments remembered for their grandiose meaning and importance, rather than the nitty-gritty minutia of what actually transpired.  I’ll admit, the spectacle may have been over promoted in the light show we ended up receiving, yet the cosmic oddity stands to be nothing left of miraculous.  To appreciate life’s events, the ones that are true once in a life time-ers, a modification of our expectations are inherently required.  Our imagination works in feverish overdrive, fighting tooth-and-nail to connect the dots between expectation vs. reality.  For these outlying events, the ones we are blessed to witness once or twice in our existence, we must appreciate the blessing for even being granted, rather than being actualized to our impossibly high standards.  If not, quite literally,  blink and you’ll miss them.  Next time the universe offers you a one-off, smile and just say thank you !

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