Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When "Halley Came to Jackson"

Tonight and especially early in the morning on Wednesday, we'll be able to see the Orionid meteor shower, a yearly event which should be a good show around here because skies are clear.

Eudora wrote about the night sky and learning to appreciate it as a child. From One Writer's Beginnings:

"The night sky over my childhood Jackson was velvety black. I could see the full constellations in it and call their names; when I could read, I knew their myths. Though I was always waked for eclipses, and indeed carried to the window as an infant in arms and shown Halley's Comet in my sleep, and though I'd been taught at our diningroom table about the solar system and knew the earth revolved around the sun, and our moon around us, I never found out the moon didn't come up in the west until I was a writer and Herschel Brickell, the literary critic, told me after I misplaced it in a story. He said valuable words to me about my new profession: 'Always be sure you get your moon in the right part of the sky.'"

I think that I'll honor Eudora tonight and look at the pieces of Halley's that fall from the sky near the new moon.

(By the way, Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote and recorded a song about this Welty memory; the song is entitled "Halley Came to Jackson.")

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