Stars in Their Eyes was the first story I wrote for Viola and was my first experimental journey into telling such a short tale.
Normally, as a writer, you get to go on and on for pages without anyone interrupting you (oh, if only real life were like that), but all of a sudden I had to squeeze my story into ten panels as Nadine stubbornly insists that she needs to sleep at least 6 or 7 of the 24 hours in each day.
I didn’t really know what shape the stories for this comic would take. Would they be funny? Tragic? Satirical? Mystical?
I thought I’d explore the range by writing a story vaguely inspired by the poetry of Rumi as I remembered an image that was something to do with not faulting the moon for the small amount of light you are able to gather in your bowl – instead make your bowl deeper to receive more grace.
Something like that anyway. And I took it to mean that the world is only as beautiful and magical as our ability to see it. The star gazers in our story have apparently perfected the ability to look unto infinity and their eyes sparkle with the light they’ve absorbed.
It also reminds me of something I heard in a documentary about spirituality in India where the researcher kept asking people what they thought about the gurus who have lots of expensive cars and flashy watches. Some replied that wealth and spirituality didn’t go together, some said it meant the gurus were fake, but then one guy just waggled his head and said:
‘Don’t even think about it. Thinking about this kind of thing is just polluting your own heart and mind. It has nothing to do with you. Just don’t think about it.’
It seemed so wise to me and I was reminded of how what we think about affects who we become. Of course we can’t close our eyes to the suffering in the world (Viola would never do such a thing!) but our lives are probably, ultimately, a celebration of what we experience. And, I, for one, plan to spend as much time as possible looking at the stars…