It is sometimes during our emptiest moments that we find ourselves best able to assess ourselves, when not even wants but needs are stripped away and we’re left with nothing but the bare bones of our spirit/soul/being. That assessment isn’t an easy thing. The sights to witness of your insides—the bones that are weak, fragile, frail, missing all the matter that gives substance—can at times and in ways be excruciating. But, if careful and mindful, if honest in the self-assessment...
We can ensure that what gets put back into us is precisely what should be there. In no way belittling the substance that once made up our person, as it carries us from one stretch of life into another. Improvement upon ourselves instead of the bits of ‘everything else’ that get put inside us throughout life?
It’s worth the difficulty.
I wrote The Light Between Stars during an empty time of my life. And it’s funny, in ways, how you can have no idea just how empty you are until assessing yourself again later. Looking back at the substance that in no way (or in little way) nourished you; it simply kept you moving from one day to the next.
It’s a special book to me. Because I was writing the story of a woman who’d lost everything but some invisible something that kept her moving from one day to the next, not knowing she was walking to some better place.
I had no idea how much I would relate to that. After the fact. In the fact? (And also after the fact?) I was just continually surprised that such a beautiful person came out of me in any sense. I would read the words of this person who doesn’t exist, look at her unshakable faith, her determination, and think...
How did this come out of me?
It took me a handful of years and a very odd path, but I figured out the answer to that question. And I’m beyond grateful.
I think sometimes on how I would like to be remembered. But I feel the parts of me that wrote this book, I haven’t really shared for people to know me in such a way. So, I can’t feasibly say: I want to be remembered this way.
In some ways, I can’t even say: I want to be known this way. (I’m far too ‘private’ and far too ‘bashful’.)
What I can say?
I’ve written a lot of books. Some of them are funny. Some of them are heartbreaking. The one thing I feel they all have in commonality is some little invisible something—a bit of goodness sometimes hidden in darkness, sometimes visible.
I may not be the best writer. (I’m certainly not, though I’m always trying my best to improve.)
I may not be the best storyteller. (I will surely say forever that I have no imagination and am simply telling ‘people’s stories’ factually.)
But I’ve done my best.
I feel my best—not writing and not storytelling but the best of me? What I’m willing to ‘share’ of it with others?
It’s found in the pages of one book. And I didn’t even know it was there.
The best parts of yourself can get lost and misplaced sometimes. I’d say, ‘You’re lucky if you find them again,’ and it would be true. But luck, in some ways, has little to do with it—when you find it, grab hold, refuse to let go... then work your tail off to ensure those parts of you are the most prevalent.
I’m proud of this book. It’s the one where I can say that it’s far less about being ‘proud’ of my work and far more ‘proud’ of my person for the work. And because of.
And just grateful.
How I would like to be known?
The goodness in there came out of me. (Even if the main character is in many ways nothing like me? The goodness in there came out of me.) (Which is an absolutely different thing from people knowing the part(s) where it all came from.)
I’d like for the goodness in those pages to be what’s remembered of me even if it’s not the way people know me as a person to remember. If that makes sense....
And yet, still, I feel the same as I always have. This isn’t about me. This is about the books. (I just can’t ‘review’ this book without saying... I feel differently about this one than I do my others, and explaining some part of why.)
As always, I hope that if anyone reads this one or ANY of them that I’ve written, that they get something good out of or from it. Whether that’s some life-altering thing like a few books have done for me or just a smile here or there?
I’ll be hoping! And I’ll know...
I did a good job.