With our bellies brimming with beans and dark chocolate after a long day of plowing through rivers and hiking across woods, Lindsey and I picked our way carefully across the river in the sudden darkness. We towed foldable plastic beach chairs and big cheesy grins; the stars were dancing for us, and from small island of rocks in the middle of the low river, we had front row seats.
Our world at this moment was an isolation of goodness.
An isolation in an uninterrupted Arkansan night sky; isolation from social norms like showering or giving a damn.
The sky was a throng of juxtaposition; a deep, black, rolling scroll stretched taunt against the ethereal canvas, interposed by brilliant tiny bulbs of electric twinkles. The stars pulsed in tune with the wind as it rustled across the waters.
There has hardly been a deeper imprint of perfection upon me than that which was left by that night; me seated so small and so young underneath such a vast undulating blanket of agelessness.
It’s a wonder to me that not every song is somewhat inspired by the stars. Every poet having not seated herself under the blanket and drawn pen across paper. Every novelist not approached his canvas with the guiding hand of the night sky.
I get so lost in thoughts of confusion or lack of purpose. Thoughts of fear and worth and meaning and point. I get wrapped up in pet peeves, in negative human interactions, frustrated with myself, frustrated with the cars that don’t see me pedaling and the unleashed dogs who run from open fences, frustrated with waiting for my life to take flight.
But then I look up at the stars.
Those puppies are really far away. Really really far away. Ancient, too. Incredibly old. Some of them no longer exist. All of them are larger than the largest thing I have ever seen. All of them are brighter than the brightest thing that has ever scarred my retinas.
I look from their perspective.
I squint, in my star-form, at the tiny baby Earth; a cloudy blimp on the radar of the Universe. I zoom; zoom; zoom-in deeper, until the whole blue planet fills my vision.
I zoom again, deeper. Closer. Tighter.
I can barely see it; barely, if I squint hard enough.
There is a little tiny girl there, laying on the grass. She’s got frizzy brown curls and is habitually snuggled in a Patagonia sweater.
From my star-form, I think to myself: hey look. There is a tiny creature there, existing for only a fragment of time. And she’s worrying about X.
What a terrible thing to waste one’s fragment on.
Things inside of my mind get sorted when I take the time to stare at the stars. They are consistenly there; even in the cloudiest of nights, they remain a permanent nighttime fixture. They are constant and constantly reminding me of how infinite it all is.
Peace and Blessings,