When the Apollo 8 astronauts turned
to see the
Earth as it had never been seen
before—as a Blue Marble,
as a whole living planet, as Starship
as just one place with one human family—
so was born Earthfolk’s peculiar way
of seeing as a sojourning alien.
Like the astronauts upon their return,
the experience of being an alien sojourner is dizzying.
When the first human stepped on the moon, Did he see himself as
a Moonman or an Earthman? The lunar astronauts returned being a
bit of both. Their imagination was split
in a way no other humans had ever experienced.
They left an Earth
mired in a Cold War, whose dominant global imagination
imprisoned in the image of the atomic Mushroom Cloud
of nuclear and total war.
They returned with the image of Starship Earth
etched in their imagination.
They returned as the first sojourning aliens, though
for most of them such was and remains unimaginable.
Earthfolk approach seeing the planet
Earth as would
arrivals from outer space. You arrive on Earth
not as an Earth person. Rather you are
a sojourning alien who sees with
sojourning alien eyes, that is,
as if arriving from
the outer space of imagining.
You are from the outside,
a stranger in a strange land, one
who sees and constantly questions
Why? What? When? Where? You look at everything
as if seeing it for the first