You rise, a blood red orb,
taunting star-gazers as you
cover your face behind a grey blanket.
The great orb rises
into a molten sky
above endless red dust
God has left a toe
nail clipping on the best
blue velvet bedspread.
I was four years old when I joined a group of men in our back alley looking up into the sky. At their pointing, I was certain that I could see a little black dot: the rocket carrying the astronaut crew that arrived on the moon.
I was in my teens, when I was in an audience to hear astronaut Jim Irwin talking about what it was like. He described looking back on Earth and thinking it was just a blue marble.
Neil Armstrong echoed that thought when he said,
“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”
You may remember how in the movie Men in Black the alien disguised as a talking pug says,
“You humans! When will you learn size doesn’t matter? Just because something’s important, doesn’t mean it’s not very small.”
This concept is reiterated at the end of the movie in this clip:
Requisate in pace, Neil Armstrong. You captured a moment of greatness that emphasizes our exiguity.