Available in stores + online July 7, 2012
Children of the Stars
Today was like any other Thursday. I walked the dog, drank my tea, shuffled papers in my office, went to the gym, and spent some time answering and sending emails. Now it is 8:30 in the evening and I am taking a moment to pause and remember that today was not just like every other day. Today I sent in the manuscript for a book I have been writing for a very long time. It will be published next August by Vineyard Stories under the able direction of Editor and Publisher Jan Pogue. And so the last leg of this unexpected journey has begun.
It started many summers ago as I was driving home from a writing workshop on Martha's Vineyard. The sun was low on the horizon, casting its golden light across the meadows that overlooked the ocean. I was musing about the other members of the group and noting that many of them were fiction writers. It had never occurred to me to write fiction. I rounded the curves of the familiar road, and found myself thinking almost aloud, "But if I were to write fiction? It would have to be about a ‘starchild’.” Now that was an odd thought. What was a "starchild" anyway? What would she look like? How did she get here? Why did she come?
I was seized by the idea of her and went immediately to my room when I got home and wrote a description of her followed by what has become the opening lines of her story and her decision to come to earth: "Millenniums of light and heat, the birth of planets, the cooling of suns, the unfolding of lifetimes, the thinking, the being, the seeing, the knowing- all this she witnessed in her celestial orbit...."
I had never written anything like that. The words flew to the page and I delighted in the sound and rhythms of them, the pictures they revealed. That day was more than fifteen years ago. In the intervening years, I have returned again and again to the story, ending it many times. The first version was not much more than a few thousand words. I was constantly tempted to be done with this creature and induce a premature birth. But her very presence forced me to deal with the central questions that her existence imposed: how does a powerful and sensitive being live in wholeness while living in cultures that fear and even demonize the very gifts that offer healing and balance. How is that spirit can walk a human path? It would take energy and courage to take the starchild on her journey here and increasingly, she was showing me the way. I owed it to her and to myself to wait, and trust and see what emerged.
Dreams of my own and of others became woven into the tale. Her male counterpart appeared as did magical animals and one day, quite by surprise, dialogue appeared. Some characters spoke in the voice of my teachers, others were fresh and new to me. I would put the manuscript away for months at a time and then discover a new relationship or history of one of the characters that I never knew. At various times I sent it out for publication. Early on, I even had an offer for a contract when, on the appointed day of signing, the publishing firm was sold. Each seeming rejection only gave me more time to learn and write.
As I read this simple tale now, I cannot help but ask myself how such a simple story took so long to be written? It is after all much like a common fairy tale. The answer that comes to me is that it took all that time for me to become simpler.
It was hard to push that “send” button today. In some ways this story can never be "finished" for it is tale of evolution and adaptation. But it is time for the starchildren to enter the world... this world. They come now when much of our planet is turned upside down and we are all experiencing the forces of great change. I am curious about what is our next evolutionary step as members of the human race. I am curious about what the children of the stars will learn and do and teach as part of this opportunity for transformation and greater consciousness.