Yesterday, people across America gathered to experience the wonder of nature's rarest of miracles: a total solar eclipse (and also the couple of hours they got off work to look at it).
From sea to shining sea, people stuck their eyes into flimsy glasses, cereal boxes and whatever else they could find to shield their eyes from permanent damage. We wanted to capture this spectacle, so we asked Jackson Krule in New York City and Alex Flynn in the path of totality in Missouri to document the watchers in their respective areas. Below are words and images from their time spent trying not to look directly into the sun.
"I'm here 50 percent for the eclipse and 50 percent because I'm here with my young family and grandchildren. At first my plan was to go to Wyoming. I tried to book flights, but it was too late. I love eclipses because it's a magic time since the universe is so big, and the moon is so small and from time to time, there's a perfect alignment." - Morel, New York City
"I ran from work since my boss wasn't there there, so I was like, alright goodbye. I made this box since I saw it on the NASA website, and I didn't get a pair of those fancy glasses. The no shirt is just cause I sweat a lot." - Julian, New York City
"I had an appointment on 57th street, and I knew the eclipse was coming. I have memories of 1962 and making eclipse boxes, but I don't remember it like I see it today." - Paul, New York City
"It doesn't happen so often, and to me, it's a spiritual event. It's nature, it's the solar system, it's the sun and the moon all aligning. It's just amazing. I'm going to try and be in the moment when it happens. I think for some it will transform their lives. I wanted my dog to be here to experience it with me, because I heard that animals especially birds and dogs have a visceral reaction to it." - Susan, New York City
"I've seen a partial eclipse and a lunar eclipse. I'm a poet. There's something poetic being at the mercy of these universal forces that we have no control over. During the eclipse, I'm going to look back at my life and my future and see what type of things I want to eclipse in my life." - J.Mae, New York City