Photo Essay Student Activities

A Psalm Under the Blood Moon

By Brian Liu

Taken from the observatory on the Annapolis campus. This photo was taken before the moon was red.
Taken from article in the NY Times:
Taken from article in the NY Times:

On Sunday night at 10:37 I had the best excuse not to do my homework. Astronomers called it a rare planetary occurrence. For me it was a moment to be present. Those who know me say that I am easily distracted and someone who’s mind often wonders off. I am often worried or anxious about a number of things. In my family I am endearingly called “the flying squirrel”.

I was blessed that night, because rare occurrences such as the Super Blood Moon – where two phenomena, a lunar eclipse and the moon at its orbital perigee, coincide – help accentuate within my mind the “specialness” of the present. They ground me in the “now”. Miracles that are fast and dramatic, ie. water turning into wine and men rising from the dead, often seize our attention and amazement. But we forget that, from one perspective, all moments and all ordinary occurrences, ie. getting to class on time, watching rain fall sideways on a car windshield, making a friend laugh, however slow and undramatic, are miraculous too.

Our last super blood moon was in 1982. Scientists predict that we will not see another super moon until 2033. This special present was not a spontaneous event, but took years and years to gestate before it was finally born. Indeed some miracles are slow, but when they make themselves known they capture wonder within us.

One of the greatest lessons I feel like I’ve learned here at St. John’s (whether it is because of the place or just this time of my life) is to not to take any quotidian or mundane occurrence for granted. These occurrences build up to something wonderful, they come to be because of the other wonderful things that precede them, and in that they themselves are wonderful.

So underneath the cloudy night sky, my friends and I, perhaps to honor the present and to draw out the moon’s splendor, sang out a musical rendition of the 42nd Psalm. And needless to say it was a grounding and beautiful experience.

The student writing staff of the johnnie chair blog

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