I got home and turned on the TV, having listened to the radio all the way to shop and back. Now images. Streaks breaking up. Not as dramatic as that deathly blooming flowers pointing skyward, but just as haunting. Seven astronauts, dead again.
But before I had even gotten home I had thought on risk. Would I go up on the shuttle if I knew I wouldn't come back. Not if I was healthy and happy. However, from that point, I realized I figured that calculated risk was pretty good. Would I go up if there was a one in four chance I might not come back? Probably. I guess that says something about how I feel about space, and about risk.
But a strange sense of omen pervaded all this, which also is why I think it's hitting on yet another level. Lady Columbia has fallen. That goddess figure that belonged to another era of the American nation. Columbia has fallen. The spirit of Freedom has burned and crashed in a thousand thousand shards, trailing plumes of smoke and flame. Resquiat en Pax. As at the end of the Chris de Burgh song.... "Station Planet Earth is shutting down... Transmission Ends...<.beep, beep, beep------>.