he eclipse hype. I don't get it. It will be darker for a few minutes. I saw the last one as a kid and it did not change my life." This was written by a facebook "friend" recently.
I pondered that thought on the way to the eclipse, getting out of bed this morning, earlier than I appreciated on a day off. We were driving to full totality to get the real deal, hoping that predicted traffic was only hype. I found myself feeling excited, as if anticipating the morning of Christmas as a child. What would be this experience, the eclipse? I had no preconceived notions, but for my "friend's" opinion of what would be.
We drive toward Prineville to find a spot roadside that encompasses totality, to unfold the lawn chairs in the back of the pickup, sip tea, wait for what is to come.
"Minutes," I think and question. Like the minutes of an orgasm, the final fruit of action, concise, satisfying. The few minutes the other night that I held a baby at a party, the smell of his infant breath on my cheek. The last minutes of a life before it is extinguished. The fleeting glance of an admirer, seconds. "Minutes," he says.
We watch the initial partial eclipse, drawn by the shift. There is a stillness in the air, the waiting, the coming. I am amazed that the light does not darken until the sun is almost entirely blocked. The power of the sun emerges, glimpsing behind the moon, still lighting our world. Our sun is gradually consumed by the moon.
The light changes around us, the air cools remarkably, the shadows lengthen. In full totality, it is an eerie color, the color of the sun blotted by forest fire, the flat light in a storm. The crickets sing on cue. In those moments I feel so small in this great universe. And so lacking understanding of the cosmos beyond. It is a humble feeling, a graciousness.
Then the diamond appears, and the light emerges, first on the right side of the moon, shining so brilliant, another dawn. We are given the gift of the sun once again.
What a gift to experience this, those few minutes. I shall hope in my life that I will always hold a fascination for the unknown, new experiences, and the wonder of this amazing planet in which we are graced to spend time. For the fleeting "minutes" in a life are often the most precious, unexpected gifts.
— Chris Teicheira
In Response to, Bend State Rep. Knute Buehler Announces Run for Governor (8/16)
Oregon needs an opposition party —it's unhealthy (see: Kansas) to have one party running everything and a moderate Republican could be a positive thing. Were things different, with, say, Hillary as president, maybe, but as things stand, I think I'd stick with Kate.
— David N. Welton, via facebook.com
Knute is a DOCTOR who voted AGAINST authorizing courts to prohibit suicidal individuals from owning guns and AGAINST requiring coverage for abortions and contraceptives. These are not logical positions for anyone to take, much less a doctor. Knute does not have the best interests of Oregonians in mind.
— Michelle Poirot, via facebook.com
I need to put in a patio in my backyard and change the irrigation around. Can I ask the City to pay for that too? No? Then dredge your own pond.
— Paul Moriarty, via facebook.com
I'd be fine paying for the dredging if they'd hand over the land to the City of Bend or the Park and Recreation District.
— Jim Vernon, via facebook.com
Take the dam out! It's going to happen eventually anyways so just get it over with.
— Justin Patino Sayers, via facebook.com
Remove dam, repair riparian area, return river to a river.
— Lisa Bagwell, via facebook.com
I'd like to know who paid the taxes for that land under the pond for all these years.
— Steve Langenderfer, via facebook.com
I am surprised at the comments to remove the dam. That will remove Mirror Pond, which is so beautiful. Here is a bit of history — "Bend will have electric lights in the near future. A. M. Drake has fully decided to put in a dam and power plant and will supply the town with the long desired electric system," the Bend Bulletin reported in 1910. The decision was made to dam the river and bring power to Bend. Later in the year the paper gave us: "A remarkably beautiful pond will result from the dam's completion, which, situated directly beside the town, will add a notable feature to Bend's list of attractions."
I moved to Bend in 1975 and have enjoyed Mirror Pond all these years and will be sad to see it go if the dam is removed. In years past, the river has just been dredged. I say, just dredge it again and leave the pond.
— Linda Neff McKissick, via facebook.com
Thank You to Firefighters
To those who were fighting fires in the smoke Monday morning and did not see much of an eclipse, THANK YOU for your service.
— Mark Davis, via bendsource.com
LETTER OF THE WEEK
Kudos to you Mark for recognizing the hard work and sacrifice emergency workers have made these past few weeks. A total solar eclipse hasn't been seen in nearly 40 years in the U.S. and one hasn't swept the entire continent for more than 100 years — but let's hope those who missed out this time will see the next one in 2024. Come in for you gift card to Palate!
— Magdalena Bokowa, Assistant Editor.
In last week's story, "Bend State Rep. Knute Buehler Announces Run for Governor" (8/16) we listed campaign finance amounts for both Gov. Kate Brown and Buehler, but the amounts we reported for Buehler counted past campaign contributions into the total. We regret the error.