Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not Walking, Just Standing

I've spent so much time the last few days unaware of the sun and the brilliant bright mornings which have overtaken us, warming my face and painting Duncan a startling gold by seven A.M.. Duncan has been patient and generous with my spirit, but I wonder if perhaps he has been walking me instead of the other way around. This morning he led me outside and down the yard, turning to look at me over his shoulder as if to make sure of me, to see whether or not I'd noticed the blue of the sky or the softness of the grass beneath our feet, the way its slowly beginning to turn green, despite the inevitability of a heavy March snow. I have been a bad walker, oblivious to the world around us, only the dull scuff of each step along the sidewalk, across the streets and through the park, trapped some place between my head and heart, Roo's leash the only thing grounding me, his soft pull a sort of wandering anchor.

This morning, when the sun seemed garish and harsh, when all I wanted was to climb back in bed and forget the boxes littering my living room and the work that should have begun days ago but hasn't because I'm too tired and too fearful, I longed for sunset and the safety of the stars. I craned my head skyward hoping to spy just one, perhaps low in the west where the sun could not quite reach. And when I didn't find any I felt my thoughts drift over the mountains, across the desert to home, where perhaps one or two still twinkled in the sky above Pocatello. I imagined them, resting just above the hillside across the valley from my mother's house, breaking through the bare trees just outside her big picture window, but even that seemed empty and brought little solace.

I'd never considered what stars do during the day but then I realized they're still there, whole constellations I haven't seen and would never know the names of even if I did. They go no where, it's we who drift and move from one side of the world to the other, and maybe if we're patient, if we wait through the day and spot them early enough in the evening, when they are still sleepy-eyed and groggy, they'll listen to us, hear our voices and offer us the peace our hearts seek.

When I left the school tonight, vowing to take Dunc on a long walk through the park and maybe up the hill to overlook the lake, Venus, the Evening Star, was the first thing I saw, shining almost directly over my home three miles away where Duncan sat waiting for me. The sound of the traffic on Santa Fe Drive faded and for a long moment, not walking, just standing and looking at that bright spot above the mountains, it was just Venus and me. I felt I had to say something to her, maybe remind her who I am and praise her, but the only thing I could think of was a child's rhyme, but somehow that seemed perfect.

Star light, star bright,
the first star I see tonight;
I wish I may
I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

It was a beautiful walk even if my wish doesn't come true.

Image courtesy of


Lori said...

My attempts to be deep and profound:

First, the star picture is gorgeous!

Second... Duncan has always walked you and shown you the wonders that we, as humans, are usually too self-contained to appreciate. You just have to work a bit harder to see them right now.

Third... Wishes. Sometimes we're wishing for the wrong things. It seems impossible to believe, when we're so certain of what we want, but sometimes, after the grief and the chaos and the fear, once we make it out the other side, we find out it was for the best that a particular wish didn't come true. It's like the old parable (for the religious, so odd that I'd use this one)... when someone asks another person if they are unhappy or angry that god didn't answer their prayers, and they say, "Oh, he answered. He just said 'no'."

NodakJack said...

Curt, I've made that walk and seen that "star" and feel grounded when I spot it. I realize that even my boy Curt is looking at the same star at the same time. When I'm in Mexico or Florida, or Fargo, I cast a glance skyward and understand that you too are doing the same.

Jen said...


Whether you know it or not right now, YOU are one of those stars that shine so brightly. Your star is on the earth. Each of us, in our own ways, has a light inside of us to offer others, for grounding and support. Sometimes, we lose sight of those stars during the various activities of our busy days. But our stars are always there, even between the moments we notice and praise them.

I know all too well how your "star" can be dim at times, or hidden altogether from the rest of the world. Sometimes we are surprised to find out that someone else can see our "star".

The star to wish upon is your own star. All of the other stars, in the sky and on earth, are there to provide guidance, comfort, and beauty, always there for you when you take a moment to acknowledge them. You see the other stars, as well as your own, when you are ready. But the most important star is within you. When your star shines, others are illuminated by it.

Wishes that come true are usually in forms we couldn't expect. They may not come true in the time we want them to, and they often don't look, feel or sound the way we had hoped. But ultimately, wishes eventually come true in transformed ways that are best for you. There is always an opportunity to find a new star, or rediscover an old star with a new eye.

This is all a very, very long walk, indeed.
I look forward to even a glimmer from your wonderful star, from very far away.
Much love,