Sunday, November 1, 2009

on fireflies and stars

Too many things to think about and I can tell because I'm forgetting at times where I'm at and why I'm here. I come to a new place on the east and make new efforts to meditate more frequently since god knows I'm going to need a space to break and breathe. This little hill was the warm-up round for life -- where I'm going is going to require much more. But then I wonder, isn't this always how we feel, and so isn't there a possibility to see this differently?

Each day is preparation for the rest of your life, or this is the first day of my life when I knew I was going to die, or I'm already dead so now I'm going to live, or whatever else forward thinking seems to give us in terms of catchy phrases to cope, deal, or apologize for the lives we lead, or who we've failed to lead as we've merely followed. And then we suddenly realize that we've got something more to give.

So actually, I don't want to be looking back on little hills. This is my life--today, right now--and the mounds and dips, troughs and valleys, peaks and the ever-threatening plateaus are all equally places to dwell happily. If you aren't going anywhere then there is no direction; you aren't climbing against gravity or falling into hell. Both options seems so negative anyway. But sit where you dwell and breathe instead for satisfaction with this home, this day. This is the place where you are living.

I'm living on a pad that's two stories, more or less, above the water. My thoughts provide enough surface tension to make me appear as though levitating. Though far off in the distance are family and friends they are all around in the fireflies. It's just a bit past their seasonal prime but I know they are there. I can see them in the leaves as the shadows dance and make speckles of light in geometrically designed veins--a firefly's flight found in the daylight. They're also around in the night, even in the winter though it's still the final days of July, because the stars always shine in every second of the day. And for long periods when I'm unconscious in the darkness or distracted by the brightness of the light, I sometimes forget that they burn incessantly until they die. But even when they've reached their demise there are constellations we see, and trace with our fingertips pointed to the sky, squinting through just one eye, that when connected together help us navigate our souls through the world and find our way home. Or create our own. And those constellations are formed by connections we create:

When two twelve-year-old girls lie on their backs on dirt country roads and swear on a star to be best friends forever.

When a father says, "Son, your mom's eyes were as bright as the sun when she held you for the first time, and I believe her love is so strong that, even though now she's gone and in heaven, the light would be just as bright if you collected the stars. Just imagine the light you could scoop up and hold in your arms. So go ahead, son, look up and be-hold your mother when you feel like you don't belong in the world. It's true, you'll never feel the way that you should because Love told you that you belong among the stars.

When those fairy-tale lovers made wishes to have their stars align just right so that they could finally live their lives as one. They made wishes upon wishes and with each falling star it seemed closer to possible since they both knew it would take a shift in the world for their love to be understood. For the moment, a shift in the cosmos would be just as good.

How did I get from fireflies to stars?

I don't even know what or why I started thinking up, but I guess it's because I'm okay with growing up. And I know I've got an expansive horizon before me. The terrain I will cover might range from rocky to Appalachian, but it doesn't matter because I will always be happy--happy to be walking, happy to be sitting, happy to be breathing with the firelight that comes up inside every time a stranger smiles when I say "hi" and each time you remind me that I am alive.


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