Posted tagged ‘space race’

”When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.”

September 26, 2017

Last night I fell into a mirror under the nose deep sleep and woke up at 10:15. Gracie woke me up earlier wanting to join me on the couch, and from next door I heard sawing and hammering, but neither was enough to keep me awake. When I went to get the papers, the sun was shining. It is already hot and humid. I need to go to Agway, and that’s it for the day.

Gracie was sick this morning. She wouldn’t even take a piece of chicken, a bad sign. I immediately gave her a pill to settle her stomach. About a half hour later she ate her breakfast, and she seems fine.

I’m watching a really bad movie, The Green Slime released in 1968. The slime, a space remnant unknowingly brought onto a space station, produces creatures with one eye in the middle of what I presume are their faces. They have octopus like arms they flail about as they walk. They each have two legs, real legs badly disguised. The movie was made in Japan but has no Japanese actors. It takes place on a space station. The women in it, nurses and a doctor, scream, put their hands in front of their mouths in horror and are frozen to the spot when the creatures get closer. The electronics are primitive, mostly levers, buttons and lights. The crew is about to destroy the space station hoping to kill the creatures who have multiplied and are now so many that they cover almost the whole outside of the station. This movie is so bad I’m going to buy it for next summer’s movies on the deck.

When I was a kid, I loved all the science fiction movies filled with space ships, monsters, giant insects and aliens but when I was ten, space became real. Sputnik was launched. I remember the scare about the Soviets launching bombs at us from outer space. Duck and cover wouldn’t save us any more. All of a sudden we were in a space race and we were losing.

Science fiction didn’t fade away after the advent of real space travel. It got more sophisticated and complex. There were still monsters of a sort, think Alien, and computers like Hal, and space ships, filled with realistic controls, and there was exploration of space, of trips to Mars. It seemed real, within reach and filled with possibilities. It was my childhood imaginings come to life. It was a wonder.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

April 27, 2014

Today is the same as yesterday: rainy and damp, the sort of damp which brings a chill. It’s socks and sweatshirt weather.

Today while I was watching the rain fall I realized I have seen wonders all of my life. When I was a little kid, falling snow was mesmerizing. Each flake fell gently and silently and glistened in the street light. I watched from the front window to make sure the street was getting covered. That gave me hope for a snow day. Thunder and lightning never scared me; instead, I was delighted. The flickering black and white TV screen was like magic. Every day brought delights some as lowly as a grasshopper caught in a jar and others as lofty as an airplane with a white tail.

When I was older, a teenager, the wonders didn’t cease. My friends and I wandered Harvard Square, went to museums and watched movies at the Orson Wells. We rode toboggans at the golf course and went to drive-in movies for the fun of it. We celebrated Mardi Gras on the third floor of the library with our forbidden food. We felt like rebels. We were there to watch the start of the space race. All of my science fiction stories were coming to life. It was amazing.

College was the wonder of learning new things, of being on my own and of meeting new people from all over the place. My insular life started to disappear. I began to look way beyond my boundaries wondering what was there for me to find. I wanted to experience the unfamiliar, the unexpected and even the uncomfortable.

I couldn’t believe I was actually living in Africa. Everything was a wonder: the colors, the smells and the sounds. Each bus ride was an adventure. Market day was the most fun. I wandered the stalls, bargained and picked out my chicken. The amazing became the commonplace, and I loved every day.

In the summer, I watch the fireflies. In August I sit outside for the meteor shower. I still watch snowflakes fall under the back light. I love Christmas. In my backyard the trees have white lights which shine every night. I love looking at them through the windows. They give the yard a bit of fairyland.

It seems wonder stays with us all of us lives.