Gouache on paper, March 2010
In New York I came face-to-face with my own dead stars. Dreams I found strength in, because they were distant, and pedestaled: anything is possible, yes, there’s nothing you can’t do in New York.
But once there, right in the center of those dreams, I found them hollow. I found myself just standing, neither upset nor inspired. I was just there. It was like the place of nothingness, the forest of in-between-worlds in Narnia, and I knew it wasn’t the kind of stillness that had meaning, or brought forth life. I could stay there, in a haze, and go on pursuing what I thought was my dream–the thing I’ve always wanted my whole life–but for what reason? My heart wasn’t with me there, and any effort or movement would still lead to that haze of nothingness.
I understand now what a friend’s been telling me all this time — to stop looking outside of myself for answers, and look inside. The answer is within, not without.
Do you have dead stars?
What illumines your path, what do you hold highly, maybe even reverently, that gives you hope, and the strength to do what you have to do? And how do you know if your shining star is dead or alive?
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Dead Stars is a short story by Paz Marquez Benitez. Read the full story here.