It’s been a year,
or two, or more it seems,
and you’re missing them,
those heroes in your life
who are now gone from your life...
missing them, again,
one who shined so brightly,
one who was so very close.
And tonight is different
from all the other aching nights:
though the tears are long gone,
the pain is unbearable,
far beyond what you thought
it could ever be.
You rush outside
into the blackness of the winter night,
desperate for a breath of fresh air.
And, finally, you look up.
“The stars!” your mind leaps.
“My gosh, the stars! Look at all the stars!”
At that moment there is only you and the stars
and the cold
and the utter stillness of the silhouetted trees
as if they too cannot believe the sight.
“The stars!” you breathe...
there must be
thousands of them tonight,
thousands of diamonds filling the sky,
shining wherever you look,
shining so brightly!
isn’t it odd, you think,
and now that I think of it, how funny, how strange!
All of our lives, since we were little,
whenever we have gone outside into the night,
if it was clear enough
we could always see the stars.
Now, years later, there they are, still there!
The same stars,
still shining wherever we look,
shining so brightly!
My breath is caught by this.
there is not much difference
between the stars in the sky
and the heroes of my life.
Suddenly there is not much difference at all.
Doubts creep in out of nowhere, so habitual;
it is so easy to feel cold and alone again...
The stars, the stars, look at all the stars!
So I pick out a star from overhead, I choose a bright one as mine...
and I think of my hero in my aching heart....
and I think very slowly
can I touch my star now?
can I hear my star speak?
but is my star still influencing me
every day of my life,
still profoundly affecting me
in my every waking hour?
isn't my star still giving me
countless thoughts and memories and inspiration,
still challenging me to turn my ordinary life
into something more transcendent?
aren't the stars in the sky and the heroes in our minds
still truly shining for us,
still shining wherever we look, year after year,
shining just as brightly as ever?
isn’t that truly
how a star is?
(“Immortal” is additionally dedicated to my mother and father, both of whom I painfully lost only months before the Columbia disaster.)
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