Sunday, February 21, 2010


I was watching a documentary of the first moon landing this morning. As a minor historical footnote, I was present in Titusville, Florida, to watch the Saturn V launch of this mission; I was also present with fellow Astron Model Rocket Society members David Leaphart and Randall Lewis for the very first Saturn V launch at a distance of a little over 3 miles. Even as I write this I can feel the incredible pounding on our chests of the shockwaves from the beast taking to the sky.

The thing that inspired this post was the first step on the moon, and if the full impact of that moment could have possibly been felt by Neil Armstrong. I've read that Mr. Armstrong felt the moon landing itself - not the actual first step - brought on the most elation as it was seen as the most difficult and challenging aspect of the voyage: to land a spaceship on another world. In the words of Buzz Aldrin: "Hell we've just done...done the impossible."

It reminds me time and time again of those lines from the play "Our Town":

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it - every, every minute?"

"No. The saints and poets, maybe. They do some."


None of us can know how we will feel and react under the stress of circumstance. The soldier under fire. The young woman hearing the verdict: breast cancer. The moment your child is born. The police who know no greater love. The firefighter entering the inferno. The final goodbye. The first hello.

What a loss not to be able to embrace the changes, the fear, the love, the many circles of life. To stop a life before it can begin, what a tragedy.

Some never get the chance to experience life in all of its colors and moods, others may see far too much. Most seem to move from day to day on the fringe, compromising as thought necessary to come to terms with everyday.

What is it I am trying to say? This, only this: live. Whatever it is that makes you alive, accept it, embrace it, and live.

Live now. 

Fear not.

Charleston 9 Firefighter Memorial, Mepkin Abbey

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