I've been home from university for one week. Yet still, my floor is a maze of loose books and papers that I have yet to go through. My clothing is put away in my closet, but that's the extent of it. I should probably finish, but lately I've been focused on other things. I'm rediscovering the friends I have here, those friends who I barely talk to when we're all away at school but who fall back into old routines when we all get together again in the summer. And I'm rereading my favorite book of all time. The fact that I even have a favorite book is quite a feat, considering I was raised by a teacher and a librarian. But I do.
I don't know if any of you have read Stargirl or its sequel, Love, Stargirl. They are written by Jerry Spinelli for a middle and high school audience. Each is an incredibly easy read, but a very moving one. Stargirl is a selfless soul, a homeschooler experiencing the cruelty of public school for the first time. Her kindness is unwelcome to the other students, who attack her for her difference. Despite everything, though, she learns to cry for herself for the first time when she falls in love with a boy who can't handle her intensity.
Stargirl is a story that makes you think, makes you wonder. How is it that students can be so mean? How can they look at someone so kind, so incredibly enigmatic, and hate her for it? What does it say about humankind, that even the strongest people can be broken by love? That even as they live their own life, they can never really forget that complete happiness, can never stop wishing it hadn't ended? That the most beautiful people can be the most broken?
And yet, what I take away most from Stargirl is her hope. No matter how few pebbles she has left in her happy wagon, she can always remember a time when it was full, and knows that one day it could be again. Hope, I think, is the most important of all emotions. It is, after all, the only positive thing to have escaped from Pandora's box. No matter how bad life gets, no matter how we are treated by people we considered friends, no matter how depressed we may be, hope is always there. As long as we can remember a time of happiness, we know it can happen again. What was possible will remain possible. So I try to live by Stargirl's hope, to remember but not to dwell, and to look towards a future that is to be discovered.
Live as it comes, right?