Reflections and reactions from a handful of people who came to experience the eclipse with me.
This is my second video about the eclipse. Make sure you watch the first here.
ADAM: Hello, Earthlings. I’m Adam the Alien, you’re…ugh, God. I can’t even do my own intro anymore.
JOEL: You’re so excited. Oh, there we go!
I’m so excited! Look at that!
ADAM’S NARRATION: On August 21st, 2017, a total solar eclipse swept across the United States. In a very lucky twist of fate, against astronomical odds, my home happened to fall within the path of totality. So I didn’t have to make any effort to bear witness to something I’d wanted to see since I was a little kid. I would have traveled a great distance for the experience, but instead it came to me.
But the eclipse was not the only thing that came to the farm. Friends and family came as well, from both near and very far, just as I would have done. Though to our surprise, not everyone who said they were coming wound up making it out. Ah, well. It’s their loss.
Still, it was a larger group than this land typically plays host to, with so many people camped in the lawn by the house or the grassy areas by the barn. The group you see now isn’t even everyone who made it. These are just those who participated in the group photo.
My own eclipse experience is well-documented. I tried to chronicle every significant bit of it. But different people experience things in different ways. So I asked a handful of those present and willing to be interviewed if they would describe their eclipse experience to me. Here’s what they said.
MADDIE: I don’t have a lot to say about the eclipse. Um, I’m mostly just upset that the world didn’t actually end, which is what I planned for. Um, so I have to figure out what I’m gonna do tomorrow. ‘Cuz I didn’t plan that far ahead. There was no Plan B, since the world didn’t end.
FOCUS: That eclipse was super sweet!
MOM: Oh, it was marvelous! Especially the total part of it.
DAD: The total was fantastic.
SYLVIA: It was so cool.
LISA: It was really cool.
JOEL: It’s pretty cool.
MOM: Really amazing!
SARAH: It was incredible!
JONATHAN: I cried. It was fantastic, it was amazing, it was…everything.
JOEL: Boy, it’s…I’m still processing.
JESS: I’ve never had an experience like that before!
LISA: Awesome. It’s really fucking cool!
LISA: It felt very apocalyptic.
SYLVIA: The lighting changed, and the world went dark.
FOCUS: When you can see the corona of the sun, and all the little spurts splattin’ out…
MOM: It was just nice. Beautiful, with that spot of darkness and light and…huuh! Amazing.
SYLVIA: You could just see the sun…like, the light of the sun behind the black disc of the moon.
JESS: Ah, that was a new feeling.
LISA: It’s kind of…indescribable.
SYLVIA: I’ve never seen anything like that.
LISA: It’s really cool that it got really cold really quickly.
JONATHAN: I’m cold, now! I am proper cold!
ADAM: It’s–It’s pretty cold right now!
LISA: And it got really dark.
SYLVIA: And the sky was, like, stark lavender, and stars came out.
FOCUS; Yeah, I didn’t really notice too many stars, ‘cuz I was too focused on the…
JONATHAN: On the big one.
FOCUS: The big…yeah, the big black hole in the
LISA: I can definitely see why the ancient peoples thought that the world was ending while the total eclipses were happening. ‘Cuz I also thought the world was ending.
DAD: Even though I saw it in 1979, the memory and the reality don’t match.
SARAH: I’ve seen a lot of very neat astronomy in my life, and I was thinking it wouldn’t be all that spectacular. But it really, ah, floored me.
LISA: You can’t really describe it in words.
ADAM: Or pictures, for that matter.
LISA: Or pictures.
JOEL: I did remember to look at it not through digital eyes, and got to actually experience it.
LISA: I tried to take, um, pictures through the solar glasses, with my phone, and it was…disgusting. It was really bad. So.
JOEL: You see pictures…pictures are cool, but actually seeing it in real life is pretty damn awesome.
ADAM: Truth! [LAUGHTER]
JOEL: Truth. Science.
LISA: It’s just something I’m gonna have to take a snapshot in my memory of.
SARAH: That was worth coming from Texas for. That was amazing.
JESS: Eclipses! Go, go see them!
JONATHAN: Seven years. Go. Go and see it in seven years. It’s gonna be fantastic.
ADAM’S NARRATION: I wish I could have chronicled every one of their experiences. I wish I could have had cameras in every direction, capturing the individual experiences of awe.
Maybe next time I’ll be more prepared, and better able to document the majesty of that all-too-brief moment. We’ll see.
Until then, I’m Adam the Alien. Fare thee well.
♫ [AWE-INSPIRING MUSIC] ♫