Some nights I look up at the stars and see art.
I am struck by wonder and awe.
Their glow fills my heart and every crevice of my soul.
I search until I find the shape of two shining eyes and a smile in the disconnected dots.
I talk to that approachable yet unknowable face,
And strain to hear any whispered words it might return.
I see lighthouses in the sky.
I see a reason to stay alive.
Other nights, I look up and see simply spheres of gas.
Hydrogen and helium.
Lanterns destined to burn out and die,
Along with all the lights and lives below them.
Blindly surviving in a vast space that is too dark And too empty.
Mindless chemicals endlessly reacting while we Twist them into purpose and prophecies,
But every night I look at the stars, I can’t deny their beauty.
My head is hidden in the clouds and my feet are far above the ground
I can pretend I’m safe in an ocean of blue as long as I don’t look down
Deep inside I know I’m drowning
But I left all hope of help somewhere in the speckled lights of the city below
Or is it above?
I’ve lost all sense of direction
My internal compass spins in frantic meaningless circles
I’m paralyzed and I feel it getting harder to breathe
But if I shut my eyes I don’t have to watch the light vanish into thin air
My thoughts are confused
Past and future blur and fade like photographs from another time
Memories and dreams dissolving behind my closed eyes
Until only the present remains
My energy and motivation wax and wane like the moon floating somewhere above my head
But somewhere inside me I find the strength to swim upwards
Towards the sun shining in the lights of the city below
I think there’s a place for us
Sometimes I hear a whisper of a wormhole that will take us far beyond this broken galaxy
To a place where the static has ceased and no longer bruises our brains with noise
A place where our cities are safe and strong with skeletons of steel and faces of glass
A place where we fit comfortably in our own skins with no effort or shame
A place where shooting stars no longer dance out of reach but sing in our hearts
I think we could get there some day
Once again I feel like I’m not enough
Once again I feel the pillars of my identity being shaken like trees
Will their roots hold them firm and steady in the soil?
Or will they topple with a crash onto the unforgiving ground,
Leaving my carefully built structures to crumble into ruins?
Thoughts swirl around in my head like blades,
Their sharp edges dangerously close to nicking vital arteries that keep me alive.
But somehow I always survive.
Meanwhile, the world continues spinning,
I try to ****** the blades out of the air as quickly as possible,
But each one rises again as soon as my back is turned,
An army of undead soldiers hell-bent on consuming my mind.
Still, I remind myself that this apocalypse will not be the end of me.
Though natural and unnatural disasters may shake my cities,
Through fires, floods, and famines,
I will continue.
When my foundations are all that is left standing,
I will build up from the bedrock until I can see new horizons from my tallest tower.
I may watch the blood-red sun set on yesterday,
But I will see it rise again far above these ashes.
As my space shuttle touches down on earth’s familiar territory
I find I have become more alien than human
Through my journey in the seemingly infinite darkness
I recognize the faces of friends and family
As well as the landmarks of my childhood
However as I remove my helmet, the fresh air feels foreign in my lungs
A language barrier has also erected itself in my absence
My words only result in confused glances
An invisible forcefield thicker than the atmosphere prevents my meaning from landing
Silence has become my method of speech
My native tongue doesn’t rest comfortably between my teeth and lips anymore
I try to remove my bulky battle armour of glass and fabric
It has shielded me from the assault of emptiness
And the weapons of rock and ice that quietly aimed and fired at my heart
Cloaked in shadows and stillness
I find that it is more difficult to remove than I imagined
But I cannot truly return to where I belong until I let its weight fall from my shoulders
And so I must
The steadying anchor of gravity calls me home and I must obey
This is my place of peace
The ocean meets the land after the same interval of time without delay
The steady controlled breaths of a stable planet
The leafy shields of the trees protect me from the fiery glare of the sun
But I still see its light dance across the water in a beautiful ballet of joy
I watch the clouds as they adorn the sky with their abstract art
Red wildflowers sing out through the passive murmur of blue and green surroundings
Their vivid contrast is welcome
There is a stump where I can sit
Where I can read, dream, sing, write, or just be present
There is a stump on either side of me where I can invite a trusted friend or two
To sit with me and appreciate the view
But I know that this place is for me
No one can intrude unless I allow them to
The trees are my guardians
They stand at a respectful distance but never leave their post
I know I’m safe here
I paint this scene to life in my mind whenever I need a sanctuary
A sunset sends a gentle wave of gold washing over a beautiful blue sky
The lake mirrors what it sees
Until the wave seems to have soaked everything but the black silhouettes of the trees and land
Time passes and gold fades to a darker blue than before
But now bright white stars flood the seemingly empty space
A firefly sparks wonder as it flashes its message of light in morse code
Frogs and crickets fill the silence with their strange music
As we watch the world change,
We sit side by side and create a multitude of ripples that echo soundlessly towards the horizon