Small piece of material from interplanetary space as well as source of superstition. Ever since humans discovered falling stars they gave them imaginative names like: ‘dance of the stars’, ‘golden rain’, and ‘carbonized pieces of cotton' that fell back on earth after the angels used them to polish up the stars. In old Greece falling stars were believed to be rising or falling human souls. Aristophanes spoke of ‘souls of poor people, drunkenly walking home after they had dinner at a rich star’. According to Jewish and Christian tradition fallen stars reflect fallen angels and demons.

Nowadays, in certain parts of Asia people believe a falling star is a bad omen: the ‘tears from the moon about the lost sunbride’ would predict war, death or demise of a close person. According to more common belief though, it’s a good omen, cause when one makes a wish when one sees a falling star, the wish will come true.

In Europe at the time when the Greek astronomer Ptolemy's (ad 127-151) view of the cosmos as a universe of interlocking spheres became the orthodoxy, there was a widely accepted and very poetic explanation for 'falling stars' which was entirely consistent with other deeply held beliefs of the time.

It was thought that the gods, overwhelmed with curiosity, would sometimes look at the earth from between the spheres, and that in that instant a star or two might slip through the gap and become visible as a falling or shooting star. Since the gods were clearly peering down at that very moment, it was considered an excellent opportunity to voice one's wishes with the guarantee that the gods would hear them.

This is probably where the idea of wishing on a falling or shooting star comes from, although I note that, "similar superstitions are widespread even in cultures remote from Europe: in Chile, you must pick up a stone in the same moment, and in the Philippines tie a knot in a handkerchief" (1)

  • (1) 'Cosmic Debris' by Mike Jay in Fortean Times magazine (FT 143) is well written and broad in scope, raising many interesting points regarding the mutable nature of accepted belief. I strongly recommended it.

    I had heard this explaination before somewhere, but had forgotten all about it until the article referenced above brought it back to me and filled out the details.

granter of wishes
vehicle to the little prince
finger of God and fall of angels

far better 'tis to die
the death that flashes gladness
than alone in frigid dignity
to live on high

better in burning sacrifice
be thrown against the world
than the globe to circle endlessly
a barren stone

author unknown to author
broken heart

For some, Sedona in the summertime is a wonderous time and place  to be alive.  For me, I just settle to pretend that I am alive at all.  Laying in the dirt, I stare at the sky.  Stacy lies next to me.  This was her idea, so I follow. I don't really notice the outside world much, but I suppose this is peaceful. Apathy prevents me from truly enjoying the moment, but I try none the less. She stares at stars looking for an escape.  I steal glances at her.  Right now, I'd settle for an escape too.  Before long my apathy runs out of steam, melting into indifference. At 4am, vulnerablilty is a given, even if it weren't for the fact that when a woman is twenty and drunk anything can happen.  Hope is four letter word, Stacy has five letters.  More complicated than hope is ehhh.... The gin in my glass satisfies one of my thirsts, and you Stacy? Would you care for another drink? Are you sure? Well, it is your loss. Desparation is a gift, when necessity turns complacent. She rolls over, as if to tell me a secret, and then it happens.

From somewhere in the ceaseless summer sky a star falls to its death, illuminating the empty heavens aboveMake a wish. Watch it fall.  Wish for a burden sweet and small.  Wish for a love thats easy to understand. Wish for a certainty that only finds a dying man.  I wished for you.  My love, my light, my whatever. Stacy, you are the star within my circle of indifference. Do not shine for me any less bright, just because you have shone for others before. Your pale blue eyes, your milky white skin are of a beauty without equal.  Don't take my word for this, we both know its meaningless. Each night a different guy would agree.  Until Tomorrow.

Stacy starts to cry again. I can only assume that it is for no reason.  I do not say this, because I don't need to.  I save my breath because it could be my last. If I were to look deep into her eyes and kiss her gently, would I then give her something to cry about?  Butterflies flutter, but with broken wings. When your burden grows to large to carry, just hold her hand and pretend you care.  So....we talk about Some Guy. A Boyfriend, maybe. I don't know. I lost track of what she was saying, so I kissed her.  I could have kissed her softly. I could have kissed her hard.  I kissed her akwardly.  If first kisses are magical, then I know why David Copperfield is gay.

On good days the light that radiates upon me seems pure.  One little star out of a million shines just for me, despite the darkness that surrounds us both.  It is not just pin-pricks piercing the fabric of darkness that I mistake for the opulence of a shining star. Somedays, sure, but not today. Sometimes a star falls.  Illuminata vulgaris. Our moment was minutes before the light of dawn, but I needed no light to see the mustache etched onto her sullen face. I saw it only after our lips parted.  Ohhh! Too late. I really could love her, but not unconditionally. Lines must be drawn. Lips must be waxed.  My boss would send me home if I showed up to work like that.  Where is the equality when it comes to mustaches. There is no level playing field, only a slippery slope

Stacy, you were the star in my circle of indifference.  A star circumscribed is demonic.  Metaphorically, symbollically, unapologetically.   Illuminata non-grata. She who shines, shines not for me.  I think this to myself, but aparently, I am alone.  Alone, but not like usual.  I look into her eyes---ehhh---we are one. My hand is on her thigh.I feel her leg go faint.  If only her facial hair would grow faint as well. Trapped.  Where is my apathy when I need it most? Sweet indifference, NOW I CARE where you've gone. Well, at least history never repeats itself.  Just for tonight, its ok.  Its just the drunk in me that sees the beauty in you.  In the morning it is over.  Hung over. Oh! The sun is late.

Daybreak creeps into the barren Sedona landscape.  A new day for New-Agers , and for me a new relationship.  Let us rejoice for my drunken choice!  A trust. A thirst. A curse.  "Stacy", I whisper.  "Honey, its morning.  Its time to go to bed.  Stacy, the neighbors are looking at us." No response. "Seriously, the joggers keep staring at us."  The light of dawn upon her 5 O'clock shadow is more poetic than I can bear, so I carry her back inside.  Where its dark.  Thats nice.

History does not have to repeat itself today. Things change. Somewhere between "be careful what you wish for" and "true love" lies reality.  Loneliness is road you've traveled from end to end. This road goes nowhere pleasant. Just settle. Its ok. When you accept your burden for what it is, just hold her hand. Be thankful for a love you already understand.  Behind that mustache there is beauty and there is light.  I look into those pale blue eyes and I know I could do worse.  Next time, maybe I'll kiss you like I mean it.  If only I close my eyes first.

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