A lifetime ago when I was a mere teenager (with hair) I stood at a guard rail along the Niagara Parkway and considered climbing over and throwing myself into the Niagara river.
In retrospect I suppose I should’ve been smoking pot and drinking myself into oblivion like my classmates, but as usual, I had to make things more difficult by thinking too much. My legs shook as though they were holding up the weight of the world. My hands gripped that cold iron rail until they ached. Tears streamed down my face. Resigned to my fate, I began to climb over…
And then I looked up at the stars.
#83: Staring Up At The Stars.
Don’t ask me why I did it. Or for that matter, why I was contemplating suicide in the first place, though I’m happy to report I don’t remember the answer to either query, that’s how far removed I am from that state of mind. So don’t think for a second that there isn’t hope when all looks lost.
But the fact remains that I did look up and when my bloodshot eyes lined up with a sky overrun with celestial bodies everything changed. I’m not a religious bellman (although when I was a kid I started going to church to gaze upon a girl in the choir that I wanted to get to know in the Biblical sense) but gazing up at the stars made me realize there was more to the universe than what I could see.
Call it God, or Allah or those three decidedly-unattractive sisters who weave the tapestry of our lives, but there has to be something more out there just beyond the edge of the cosmos.
Something that created those amazing stars we take for granted every night. I know what you’re thinking:
“But Hook, aren’t the stars we’re looking at every night actually burning out, i.e, dying? And if so, why use them to illustrate why people shouldn’t commit suicide?”
Listen, Buzzkillian, the more massive the star, the faster it burns up its fuel supply, and the shorter its life. However – and this is a big “however” – the most massive stars can burn out and explode in a supernova after “only” a few million years of fusion. A star with a mass like the Sun, on the other hand, can continue fusing hydrogen for about 10 billion years.
So if a star can last that long surely you can live out your measly (average) lifespan of 79 years, right?
The stars represent the unknown. They make us feel insignificant but connected simultaneously. They’re worth your time and their beauty is proof that whatever or whoever is responsible for your creation wouldn’t want you to throw your life away. So don’t.
See you in the lobby, kids…