I have an idea for a piece about The Wishing Star for an anthology project I am involved in. Below is some stuff I wrote to get in the mindset to write the piece. It won’t be in the actual story, but it kind of sets the tone for what I want to write, so I thought I’d share it here. Enjoy!
As long as there have been cities where human beings congregate to avoid the loneliness of nature, there have been people who long to escape the lights of those cities – to get away from the loneliness of shared company. The act of observing the stars has brought peace to peoples’ hearts for centuries. When looking at the vastness of the night sky, we realize that this universe is huge; we realize that we are not alone. Then we can go back to the very people whom we were escaping with a sense of gratitude for their presence in our lives.
It may seem odd that the solitary act of stargazing can dissipate loneliness, but it is true. Some speculate that it is because it gives us the opportunity to spend time with ourselves. When we feel lonely in a crowd of people, it is because we have lost touch with ourselves and therefore cannot connect with anyone else. Getting away from our daily routine can help this. The night sky is like a blank canvas for our thoughts. Our worries and concerns become lines connecting the stars and planets together. Once this is done, they are no longer inside us, and we are left with just ourselves, able to rejoin the general population.
What most do not consider is what happens to thoughts and worries once they leave us. Where do they go?
They stay with the stars, of course.
Those worries tug at the balls of fire, and tug at them, the lines of gas wrinkling the universe’s smooth face.
If one is not too self-centered, one may pause to pity the stars. After all, they are burdened with the worries of human beings all over earth. But this is needless. For the stars only have to deal with the tip of the worry. Most of that worry is in empty space, connecting to another star at the other end.
No, the real tragedy is that those worries are the only thing connecting the stars to another tangible object. We often think of stars as balls of burning hydrogen and helium. That is, after all, what they are. But they are also so much more.
Yes, these burning balls of fire are sentient. They have thoughts and emotions. And they are completely alone. Millions of miles separate them from each other. They have no form of communication with each other.
They can, however, observe humanity.
This is the only tool they have to battle the loneliness that builds up from being separated from all other life and from being the landing targets for the leftover loneliness of thoughtless humans on earth.