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Instructions For When The Sky Falls

The stars have fallen down. I ride over them with my bike; they are gold and gold and silver on the small dark road, in the fine-boned rain. I feel like I am the moon's shadow going around and around over the stars, in the dark, in the storm. This is where I want to be, travelling stars, dress billowing, hair tangled, heart flying wild, through the night.

Some of us are not warriors, our voices or placards thrust into the air. Some of us are not wise gentle gardeners, instinctively knowing how to negotiate between lettuce and snails. But we can be witches if we want. Our own kind of witches - baggy stockings, pink purse, old Frost poetry as spells, or anything else. Anything we are.

Witches in the weeping night.

If you find fallen stars, taken a moment to grieve the wounded sky. Take another moment to look how beautiful the ground around you has become, even with those prickled star-edges and broken things. There is beauty in the broken, because now we can see the truth at the heart of everything.

Then begin the work. Those stars need gathering up and sending back to the moon. You have to be gentle though. You can't just fling them back up there in a slingshot. You need to climb a ladder or hire a hot air balloon or convince an eagle or something. Or all those things at different times. And maybe it will take years. But you can do it, you're a witch and a wise woman.

Just don't think you'll get the old constellations back again. You'll have to make new ones. That's okay, they'll be better ones. If the old constellations were still needed, they wouldn't have fallen.

And don't think your hands won't bleed, and your heart. Don't think it won't be exhausting, and you won't hurt. People will drive past blaring their horns at you. People will use the stars for their games of hockey. Understand, so many people lost their sky long ago. They don't know what to do with stars. They think the moon is a street lamp. They are in love with the daylight. Or maybe they love stars and don't realise these ones are yours. And that's alright. Leave the people to go their own way so they can find what they need. You're doing this work. Give them a smile or a word, but keep your eye where it belongs.

And other people will come now and again with a fleece-lined star bag, with bandages for your hands, with a cup of tea. Witches are everywhere. So are moon-eyed dreamers and gentle knights of the dark.

If you can't pick up stars, because it's too hard or because all yours are still in the sky, take tea instead.


  1. Disclaimer : this post is not written with anyone at all in mind. It is not written in response to yesterday. This is a post I've been thinking about for quite a while. I didn't really know how to go forward here, but decided this post was the way to do it, because it is just about everything I believe about life and people and being.

    Comments are now moderated, for the first time in twelve years. This is not because I want to block anyone or because I judge or dislike anyone or am squelching discussion. I am just going through an extremely challenging time in my real life and don't have the energy to work carefully on my blog comments. You are still welcome to write and I will read it.

  2. I have dandelion tea. How about that?

    There are stars over my head. I didn't put them there, but I did make the tea. Here.

    1. Dandelion tea is such a magical phrase. Thank you lovely lady <3

  3. this is very beautiful and wise.

    if I could bring you a cup of tea---or better, a whole pot with lovely old china and a plate of seedcake---I would.

    whatever is difficult...I hope it gets easier soon.

  4. I hope you have someone to lean on at least during all that you seem to be going through. Everybody should have someone to pour love into their cracks.

  5. This was beautiful and what I needed to read this morning (while I drink my tea and let my limbs settle after yoga, which I've just taken up at almost 44 years old, may the gods help me).

    I've been pondering my own stories and how they might fit into the world and your writing always makes me feel like there's a place for my writing, too. Thank you for that.

    1. The world is an endlessly diverse place and there is space in it for all kinds of stories. Your writing is beautiful and has a space in my heart. I don't have time to log in to your website to leave comments but I am reading :-)

      Congratulations on the yoga!

  6. I'm not sure what my respond should be but I like this. I like stars and I like the idea of people putting back or putting together what is broken or lost. and also just the idea of sipping tea always make me feel like I'm in some calm place though I don't drink tea much anymore but I'll have a cup just to keep the calm.

    have a lovely day.


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