Shooting stars

I want you to pause a moment, and think about “shooting stars…”

I have been going about my daily life, interacting with others, trying to achieve goals, anticipating events and crises, while new challenges, surprises, and distress and trauma, all intense, abound.

Meanwhile, I am going through a billion thoughts, and I stop in my head and say to myself: I must write this down, it is a topic to be reconciled with. I know it will help a lot of people dealing with this kind of thing. Or, I think: this would be a great story, one that people can actually understand and enjoy, or learn from. Writers are very much like shooting stars.

Based on government sponsored research, shooting stars are different than all the other stars: A shooting star is really a small piece of rock or dust that hits Earth’s atmosphere from space. It moves so fast that it heats up and glows as it moves through the atmosphere. 

So while all the other entities in the sky stay static and look intact and lovely, a shooting star never stays static, but moves quickly through the earth, experiencing movement and a host of other experiences along the way, before it hits the earth and (defined for all intents and purposes) dies. To add to this, if the Writer has material they feel is a life-changer, and are unable to communicate this, it can be debilitating indeed.

Unfortunately, I never write these thoughts down, because we Writers–much like the shooting stars–have little time to stop and ponder: life is so fast-paced, and for us, so fleeting.

When I actually do sit down to write,  I am frustrated and I feel like an absolute failure because I cannot remember an iota of thoughts and ideas I had experienced as relevant, and  which seemed significant to me while it was happening. I knew there was great significance because I remember the feeling I had when I thought about these various thoughts, but I cannot for the life of me remember the actual thought!

This creates a sense of “forgetting something,” or moving forward in a hurry, with something “left behind.” It creates anxiety, anxiety uses energy, and energy expelled minimizes what strength with which one began, and ensures an early death–if not physically, then emotionally or psychologically.

It is not a good feeling. I know everyone knows about what I am writing, because everyone has left their home forgetting something at some point in time.

For a writer though, having billions of thoughts and passionate moments of longing and desire to communicate some enlightenment or an epiphany, it can be very debilitating.

Have you ever blown up a baloon, only to have it accidentally leave your hand, then flying about letting the air out, and then your having to do it over again? Then, after each time the air having expelled from it, you can get pretty tired, and very frustrated.

Or, perhaps you have been in a situation where you have to be somewhere at a specific time, you are a few minutes late at the bus-stop, and after running there to make it you miss it anyway, and just watching it drive away frustrates you terribly.  That is what it feels like to be  a person who writes and has a strong sense of communication, and you miss the moment of a serious emotional thought, or an epiphany. And all simply because you did not write the reminder down immediately.

But how can a writer do this without having some kind of physical breakdown? It is difficult, but hopefully it can be done.

Writers are a strange breed. They stare alot (probably because they are thinking about the situation in which they are found to be a part.) Writers sometimes seem stymied in movement, (probably because they are trying to determine the best route toward defining the observation.) Writers are acutely sensitive (probably because their mind is so meticulous that the brain erupts the motions every time some grand idea comes along.)

Have pity on Writers, and if you can, find a place in your heart to help them a bit,  because if they are that intense, chances are, they are a falling star, and even if they tried, they cannot help what they are: it’s in the stars, which is to say: they are born to be who they are and what they do, dream, think, and act upon.

While the other stars stay intact in the sky, they fall early on, because their energy wanes earlier than the rest of us, and for their intensity, they usually do not live long. Here are few examples:

Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Plagued by financial difficulties and ill health, Crane died of tuberculosis in a Black Forest sanatorium in Germany at the age of 28.

Edgar Allan Poe ( 1809-1849)Some say he died from alcoholism… . Most say he was found unconscious in the street and admitted to … Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He died soon after, on 7 October 1849, and was buried unceremoniously in an unmarked grave in the Old Westminster Burying Ground of Baltimore.

Emily Dickenson (1830-1886): Dickinson increasingly withdrew from public life. Her garden, her family (especially her brother’s family at The Evergreens) and close friends, and health concerns occupied her.

Raymond Carver (1938-1988)

David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)

John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969)

Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964)

Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)

John Steinbeck (1902-1925)

Sure, there are exceptions, but read Writers’ bios in your favorite Writers/Authors websites, or Literary Networks, and you will see–in general, most Writers have a personality that is, well…suffice to say, they resemble shooting stars: intense and self-destructive in some way or another, or just plain blazing-through-life, haphazardly, or so intense that they cannot muster, or -stand-their-own-consiousness people.

We all shine like stars at some point in our lives, and most of us kindle quite nicely, except for when some of us playact like shooting stars (drink & drive, drugs, etc) and end our lives prematurely. But true Writers, mostimes, do exhibit such qualifications and propensities toward dying prematurely, only it is usually because their intensity makes them yield too sharply, and travel much too much, too far and too quickly, to last very long.

Yet, we must be kind to Writers, (myself included) and try and understand  why they seem insanely bent on destruction: for without these intense, communicative, indepth, and sometimes insane and creative people, we would not have had so many books with voices throughout the centuries that have made us think more deeply, more emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, and helped make us who we are, and ultimately… actually elevate the consciousness of the human race–seriously, folks….