15 February 2016

i want to be a star

I was walking home from the bus stop tonight out here in Erdington and I looked up at the sky when I turned onto my little Grove, as I sometimes do, and stopped right in my tracks to appreciate the stars.


I can see stars in the middle of my neighborhood!

This is a thing I never expected when I moved across the world to the UK's second-largest city-- to be able to see stars from my doorstep, and quite a lot of them really.

It reminded me of that part of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the only part that made me spontaneously weep and weep and weep with the ugliest cry face that a person ever had (especially in the audience of a theatre), just giant tears dropping hard off my cheeks without knowing exactly why, the part about stars that's so comforting and sad and wonderful, all at once--

"And when you look at the sky you know you are looking at stars which are hundreds and thousands of light-years away from you. And some of the stars don't even exist anymore because their light has taken so long to get to us that they are already dead, or they have exploded and collapsed into red dwarfs. And that makes you seem very small. And if you have difficult things in your life, it is nice to think that they are what is called negligible, which means they are so small you don't have to take them into account when you are calculating something." 

I feel small in the world these days, living here across the whole world in the UK's second-largest city. Not small in a defeated, lonely way-- just small in a way that makes me appreciate the wonderful, lovely complexity of my teeny tiny little life which is, in the scheme of things, so minuscule.

So minuscule, but filled with so much light and love and satisfaction and goodness.

And in a way, the stars and red dwarfs and the galaxy and all the galaxies give me so much assurance that I am meaningful-- my life is meaningful, and my work is meaningful, and my relationships are meaningful-- because some of these giant balls of fire have been dead or exploded for longer than my brain can comprehend, but they continue to live on in light-years so that I can marvel up at them and think really big thoughts. I am inspired by these big, dead, exploded stars that live on in light. They matter. They matter to me.

And my little (by comparison) life matters.

What doesn't matter are daily annoyances or hiccups. What doesn't matter are frustrating little details that feel so important-- but aren't.

What matters is how I treat people. What matters is the work I do. What matters is burning so brightly that my energy continues to burn for hundreds of thousands of lightyears after I'm dead or exploded, because someday, somewhere, someone will look up into the sky and need my light that's still visible, even though I'm gone.

I can't believe I can see stars here.

It makes everything so much better.

Not my view exactly, but pretty close representation.


David said...

I liked this, Emily. Good perspective.

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