We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.          
            —William Anders  

Christmas Eve, 1968. Three men make history on the near side of the Moon as the Earth’s south pole rises into frame, blue as a bonnet, a berry, a baby boy; the ocean, delphinium, lapis, a jay. It’s a marbled sky, the scatter of sun as it travels on its shortest waves to enter these furthest eyes, the first to orbit a foreign body. & then ten years later Withers writes in rhythm&b: when I wake up in the morning, love, & the sunlight hurts my eyes, as a way of assuring us that everything will be alright & then ten years later my brother is born to reassure & extend our family line, & then ten years later I stand between two fast-moving trains on the tracks outside of town where I feel the untamed wind whip my skin, & no matter how much time passes, this remains the most alive I’ve ever felt, this bright patch over spreading darkness. &, so, I think this is why Bill Anders reached for the color film, told his team to be patient as he set up the shot to send back to Earth to be developed at the only same-day color processing lab in all of South Texas. Because maybe all we need to do to save ourselves is walk upright somewhere new, soft footprints floating with uncertain mass, eyes trained toward home & anything blue.

Astronaut William Anders died on Friday, June 7, 2024 in a small plane accident in Washington state at the age of 90. He was credited with taking the famous Earthrise photograph.