27 Dec The Light of Everlasting Stars
How quickly life changes. It’s remarkable what time can mean — we can look back and see the good that came from pain, the lessons gained from uncertainty, the joy that bloomed from trying.
It’d been raining last week leading up to Christmas. In the evening on Christmas day, the sun broke through the drifting rain clouds where a soft rain continued to fall. A rainbow formed across the sky.
It seems like a trivial thing, a rainbow. But when I watched it driving with my mom, I could barely make sense of the color and sunlight, the energy and beauty, dancing in the sky.
The earth isn’t against us. This season we’re living in is a mysterious, beautiful puzzle. It’s trying to teach us. What else can a rainbow mean, other than It’ll be okay.
Color is life; a rainbow is the full spectrum of life, draped across the heavens through clouds and rain, a different sort of meaning.
After dinner, I took a drive and watched the raindrops hit the road, illuminated by my car’s headlights. I thought about the memories I’ve made and the ones which make me who I am.
I come home and part of me feels the same. It’s the essence of my being which will never fade, my childhood, a familiar peace, what’s always made me happy, a rainy night.
I’ve done this drive along the coast countless times — I remember a few specific drives, particular moments, but the drive is second nature.
from Malibu south to San Diego, or north up to San Francisco, or even the tip of the Pacific Coast.
A drive denotes the beginning of an adventure, the start of something good, getting in the car and going somewhere. It doesn’t really matter where. We’re going somewhere.
That time, whether alone or with somebody I care about, that time heals. It’s a chance to reflect — driving through the rain under the light of the moon.
It’s when I find inspiration. In the morning, the sun shines through the car’s windows and warms my skin. The air after last night’s rain is clean and courses through my car and through my soul. Nothing feels better.
My childhood and the journeys that have made me who I am pour through me, and I know everything will be okay.
Sometimes all we need is a sunny drive after a night of rain. A rainy night after months of blue skies. Something to tell us the times are changing, that we’re changing, too. There’s nothing to be afraid of.
How quickly life can change.
What was once an idea had come and gone like autumn leaves; what once seemed like everything faded away with the cold winter winds.
Good or bad, it doesn’t really matter. It’s the end of the year and we’re nowhere but here, yet we look back at what’s done, or look ahead at what might become.
It’s a mystery, what this year will bring. There’s an inkling of an idea — that’s exciting to me, even though at times it feels like our life experience won’t change, that we’ll be here in a year, reflecting, looking ahead, wondering.
Who’s to say that’s bad?
If only we could see how much we did, how much we thought, wondered, flourished, loved. You couldn’t tell based on where we stand. But our inner structure has shifted.
The door to my heart may have creaked open. The window of your soul is clearer than it’s been. From the outside it’s hard to tell. That change is ours to share and build upon.
What books will we read this year? What adventures we will have. What spontaneous decisions will take us further on the journey of our lives?
It’s inspiring to have no map; any decision could take us on an alternative path, a dirt road, a new road, paved or unpaved, you don’t know where it’ll go and that’s all that matters.
On the drive I thought about what makes me happy. A good book — a simple joy — that’s what makes reading meaningful to me. The genius of a good story, maybe of someone like me living in a different time and place — that insight carries me through life.
In the words of the 19th-century transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson:
I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.
The books I’ve read are gusts of wind on which my thoughts, my joy, my spirit rides. Books are the soul of the past, helping us understand who we are and what we can be.
I finished reading City of Thieves by David Benioff, and was smiling while thinking about the book during my Sunday drive south. It’s a coming-of-age story of two young Russian men during the World War Two Nazi siege of Leningrad.
There’s an allure to Russia, a spirit embodied in the books I’ve read by Russian authors — War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy, The Brothers Karamazov and Notes from Underground, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Forty Stories by Anton Chekhov.
The stories are dark and lighthearted — Russians take what they’re given and deal with it. David Benioff is an American writer, but his book on Russian life during WWII emits the same fiery glow as those great Russian tales — the stories are brutal.
Yet, the juxtaposition — of braving Russian life with a crude, no-fucks-given attitude, between grand palaces and villages of the vast, unforgiving countryside — it’s captivating.
The raw humor of the two main characters made me laugh out loud. I felt for them. The book also made me incredibly grateful, as historical books usually do. It doesn’t matter the situation. Human beings take what we’re given and find a way.
Russian stories make me wonder about the world out there; shaped by history and myths and people striving to survive.
People striving to thrive, and let their light shine.
Even on the darkest nights, human beings find the light. If not, they create it. Like the young men in City of Thieves, I know I have more than enough to shine. So do you.
Your spirit glows with the
Light of everlasting stars.
You have the world in your corner,
But sometimes you must
Be your own music,
Be your own light,
Your own inspiration,
Be your own fight.
Let that shit shine even on the darkest days.
Who are we? What does it mean to live in the world today?
The numbers change from 21 to 22; the snow falls and the cool wind blows, yet if we have what we need to be warm, a blanket or a friend or love for ourselves — we have it all.
The world is turning; keep going, keep living, keep thinking, keep growing.
Who knows where we’ll be in a year.
Maybe driving down the coast and reflecting on the experiences we can’t yet imagine, the moments that will make us who we are. Maybe I’ll be somewhere far away, experiencing the world.
There’s no way to know. And that’s the key.
We create our own reality —
I’m hopeful for the future.
I have faith that the spirit that has brought us here will only get stronger, even when times get tough.
I have confidence that we’re here for a reason. We decide what that reason is. You have the world in your corner, the light of everlasting stars. Let it shine.