Global selfie

Earth Day—April 22, 2023

They floated around out there, the Apollo 17
crew in my 14-year-old imagination, snapping
photos on a space-age Polaroid, the device spitting
out a damp image spit from its slotted mouth,

astronaut hands waving it dry in the artificial
atmosphere of a capsule. Actually the first
picture of our whole round planet was shot
on a Hasselblad film camera after the spacecraft

left its parking orbit around Earth to begin
its trajectory to the moon. Three men on the final
lunar mission looked homeward and took
the first global selfie to go viral.

On Christmas Eve 1970, as the rest of us Earthlings
got a peek at the photo dubbed the Blue Marble,
I went to my red Folger’s can full of marbles,
retrieved a swirly blue boulder and peered at it,

visualizing a tiny world inside—one partly
shrouded by cloud rivers, dust plumes,
even a sun reflected in oceans, wondering
about tiny beings going about their lives.

And I, looking on from the outside, holding
that boundless worldview in a cold glass globe
in my palm, somehow knew to cradle it gently,
set it down carefully, not tuck it into a pocket

as I usually did, before I headed out onto
my home planet to crawl up my favorite tree,
notebook and pen in hand, settle in for a spell,
and write about it.

The original Blue Marble photo was taken “upside down”—with Antarctica at the top of Earth—on December 7, 1972, by the crew of Apollo 17, the last human lunar mission. According to NASA, no humans since have been at a distant enough range to take a whole-Earth photograph. Photo / NASA

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s