The ancient texts tell us the moon was a symbol of beauty—with its many phases and their various attributions, its single face, its mythology, its mystical threat of eclipse—and there was great opposition to its dismantling. But to look upon its remains, that glinting ribbon in permanent embrace with Earth, I am overcome by the feeling that the moon-cracking was a blessing. That stepping stone to the stars became a contemplative garden path encircling all the world’s greenery, bidding we never neglect to look inward.
Of course, the people of that long ago time shared not half our sophistication, nor even half of that they believed they possessed. Their motivations were those of superstitious bureaucrats, confusing their demons with their dreams: techno-religious fervor, military-industrial codependence, the Second Manifest Destiny.
But as centuries turned to millennia, and as the oceans learned to hum a new rhythm, we too changed. We, who dissected the sky of our forbearers, began to view the heavens with the eyes of sculptors. We saw those distant points not for their shells, but for all the wonders whose shapes we might unleash as we wore them down bit by bit, atom by atom.
It would be difficult to describe to those who cracked the moon. Difficult to describe how only now can we see how full it truly is. Still, I suppose, it must have been beautiful then, too, in its own unusual way.