Shoot for the moon, even if — well, you can’t miss it…

May 27, 2021

Following the total lunar eclipse, AKA the Super Flower Blood Moon, that graced the skies of the world the night of May 25–27…

Early stages of the ‘super flower blood moon’ total lunar eclipse in Texas, May 26, 2021, by Olivia Zhang

Shoot for the moon, even if — well, you can’t miss it on a cloudless night full and brilliant, the lone light in a polluted city sky, taking center stage in the darkness with such majesty that your eyes can’t focus anywhere else, calmly poised for your admiration as it patiently approaches the earth’s shadow… so you Google nighttime photography settings and set your alarm… and when the time comes you find yourself squatted awkwardly in an upstairs bathroom, elbows braced against the tub and the wall, camera angled toward an open window… and as you still your body on the cold tiles with the AM ticking by, you suddenly feel like you, yourself, and the cicadas chorusing their battle cries for miles are the only creatures alive in the world.

The click of the shutter startles the air and you wonder if you can trust the settings from the first Google search result to make up for your inexperience beyond ‘A’ for ‘Automatic’.

Breath held, you look down and click. . . . . . you g a s p — your jaw drops and doesn’t close for 1… 2… 12 seconds.

In luminescent glory she’s there on the tiny screen, not a fuzzy blot of white but a perfectly contained circle, and if you zoom in you can see her telltale birthmarks and scars… this celestial queen so far away yet captured somehow in your amateur hands.

Wide awake now, you are paparazzi before the dawn.

When tall oaken bodyguards eventually shield her out of sight, you crawl into bed, your stomach growling in hunger and workday alarm unchanged.

But you’re glad you shot for the moon.