wishing on stars

The weight of the world weighs heavily, sometimes on me, often on others, terribly so on the people trapped by disability, illness, poverty, hunger, and by war and its unconscionable and needless suffering.

Calvin, war and suffering are just some of the reasons I don't believe in god. Not the Jewish one, not the Christian one, not the Muslim one. Not any god of organized religion over which so much of the world wages its wars. I don't believe in the notions of heaven or hell—except the ones here on earth—or Satan, or religion's anthropomorphic and patriarchal architectures, or the Bible's stance on slavery and subjugation. It doesn't make sense to me to worship a static, anachronstic god when the universe is expanding and evolving. What I do believe in is the breathtaking interconnectedness of everything in the universe—the planets and stars, the rocks, the forests and seas, the animals—and how we all are a part of it and will rejoin it in a more literal and elemental way when we die, when we again become stardust. The feelings I have for the sun and the moon and the far-off galaxies and the pull they have on me—this wishing on stars I sometimes do—is powerful spirituality. My energy will not be lost when I die. It will live on in the memories of those whom I have touched and in the soil and sea where my ashes might scatter. I will sink into and become earth and sky, wind and river. I am and will be universe.

But when a friend tells me they pray for me, I understand, even appreciate it. And when someone whom I've never met offers me this kind of solace on a difficult day in a way which resonates in my bones, I melt into her words and heal just a little bit. In reading this, perhaps you can see why:

each day when I light my candles I say the names of your family aloud, with the others I choose to remember in this daily way, and I pray for peace and healing and love for you all and I carry a ruby for grief and an obsidian for comfort and a tiny icon of mother and child and a small wooden angel and some other things which i carry in my pockets and find in my hands several times a day and though it is the way of a child to hold to such talismans i allow myself this touching home, these miracles of the universe, and i reach for my mother and father, and my grandparents, and dear friends i have lost and for my own lost self and for all those who struggle and all those in pain and like a child i wish on stars and hold my stones which once were stars and i feel the love of the universe and send some to you and to your small miracle and trust it reaches your family in some way, like sunlight on a cheek, like sea mist, like hope, like yes, like moonlight, like a small bird shaking her feathers, like a shadow of a tree bending just slightly in morning air, like bending on one knee, on both knees, like bending the head with hands forward pointing from my heart to yours

—Elizabeth C.

I, too, send my deepest gratitude and love to you, Elizabeth, and to all of you, dear readers—brilliant stars—who lift me up, fill my heart, dry my tears, inspire me, send your love in prayers and words and wishes and gifts. You make my world—my universe—a better place to be, a place where, despite my burdens and my son's suffering, I can believe in the power of wishing on stars, and in wishing for peace and love and wholeness for the rest of the world.

1 comment: