A Parable

He had stick-on stars on the ceiling of his bedroom.

One day, returning from the shoppe, with his packet of greenish-yellow stick-on stars, he got a chair from the kitchen and laid them out across his ceiling in no particular pattern, certainly not modelled on the way they really were in the night sky, his temporary reasoning being that there was a good chance that the stars were no longer in exactly that same position where they were. And it's not like he had anyone to vouch for either the rightness or wrongness of that statement. His reasoning was temporary (or so he thought) only in that he might change his mind tomorrow, or, should the stars turn out to resemble the constellations. Or that he turn out to be wrong. Which doesn't necessarily mean the reasoning is temporary, he knew, the reasoning being wrong, he was just happier accepting quite a lot of things as temporary, and certainties as most definitely temporary. This tended to worry him less, about quite a good number of things, though he didn't know why, and he didn't know the exact worry he might be feeling otherwise.

He couldn't quite reach the ceiling from standing on just the chair, so he pulled a chest of drawers off his floor and balanced that on the chair, and from that precarious position he attached stars to his ceiling with much less discomfort than he'd originally thought he was in for and with a good deal more balance than he thought he possessed. It was possibly another case in which his reasoning (in this case that he wasn't very adept at balancing) was being slowly proved temporary, replaced with this new temporary reasoning that his balance wasn't quite so bad, after all.

After he'd placed the bulk of the stars on the ceiling he clambered down from the chest of drawers, which slipped and he caught, awkwardly, once he took his weight off of it. And he leant the drawers against the chair in an unnatural position for a chest of drawers, and he sat back on his bed. Dusk fell, that first day, and he sat through it, patiently, and waited while the sun seemed to creep down the walls, then up, and leave the room reluctantly, as if it knew it was going to miss something, should it finally duck out the door and turn out the lights behind it.
And that night the stars didn't wink into existence, but he noticed that one moment, when there'd been no light from his new decorations just seconds before, they all glowed dully, at least the ones in the centre of the room where the room had formerly been quite bright, nothing like real stars at all, crisp in the night sky with the feel of grass beneath his head and the wind on his face.

He liked to lie on his bed and stare at the stars in the relative comfort of his own home, his own bed, as a matter of fact. And he sometimes had visitors, and he'd lie with them on the bed, and look up at the dull green stars on his ceiling. And though he knew it was temporary, fading as the morning came on and people had to get up and leave and muscles grew sore with inactivity and other things demanded attention, lying there, looking into a series of stars he'd placed against the white backdrop of his ceiling he sometimes believed he could see infinity. And sometimes he did.


Our condolences to the friends and families who lost loved ones, or lost anything at all as there were many things lost, in Tuesday's terrible events.

Words do fail sometimes.

    The Head Editor.

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