She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a cork board like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.
You’ll know her more by your questions than by her answers. Keep looking at her long enough. One day you might see someone you know.
The earth is speaking to us, but we can't hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then - maybe - the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.
She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school. In her answers in class, she often spoke of sea horses and stars, but she did not know what a football was... She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to a corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew.
We wanted to define her, to wrap her up as we did each other, but we could not seem to get past "weird" and "strange" and "goofy." Her ways knocked us off balance.
It’s really hard to do nothing totally. Even just sitting here, like this, our bodies are churning, our minds are chattering. There’s a whole commotion going on inside us.
I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl…. And… I see. I hear. But not with eyes and ears. I’m not outside my world anymore, and I’m not really inside it either. The thing is, there’s no difference between me and the universe. The boundary is gone. I am it and it is me. I am a stone, a cactus thorn. I am rain. I like that most of all, being rain.
She might be pointing to a doorway, or a person, or the sky. But such things were so common to my eyes, so undistinguished, that they would register as "nothing" I walked in a gray world of nothing.
A baseball bat could not have hit me harder than that smile did. I was sixteen years old. In that time, how many thousands of smiles had been aimed at me? so why did this one feel like the first?.
You liked me." I smiled. "You were smitten with me. You were speechless to behold my beauty. You had never met anyone so fascinating. You thought of me every waking minute. You dreamed about me. You couldn't stand it. You couldn't let such wonderfulness out of your sight. You had to follow me." I turned to Cinnamon. He licked my nose. "Don't give yourself so much credit. It was your rat I was after." She laughed, and the desert sang.
This was the start of a period that blurs as I try to recall it. Incidents seem to cascade and merge. Events become feelings, fellings become events. Head and heart are contrary historians.
I grabbed her, right there outside the lunch room in the swarming mob. I didn't care if others were watching. In fact, i hoped they were. I grabbed her and squeezed her. I had never been so happy and so proud in my life.
She laughed when there was no joke. She danced when there was no music. She had no friends, yet she was the friendliest person in school.
of all the unusual features of Stargirl, this struck me as the most remarkable. Bad things did not stick to her. Correction: her bad things did not stick to her. If we were hurt, if we were unhappy or otherwise victimized by life, she seemed to know about it, and to care, as soon as we did. But bad things falling on her -- unkind words, nasty stares, foot blisters -- she seemed unaware of. I never saw her look in a mirror, never heard her complain. All of her feelings, all of her attentions flowed outward. She had no ego.
Throughout the day, Stargirl had been dropping money. She was the Johnny Appleseed of loose change: a penny here, a nickel there. Tossed to the sidewalk, laid on a shelf or bench. Even quarters. "I hate change," she said. "It's so ... jangly." "Do you realize how much you must throw away in a year?" I said. "Did you ever see a little kid's face when he spots a penny on a sidewalk?.
Live today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Just today. Inhabit your moments. Don’t rent them out to tomorrow. Do you know what you’re doing when you spend a moment wondering how things are going to turn out? You’re cheating yourself out of today. Today is calling to you, trying to get your attention, but you’re stuck on tomorrow, and today trickles away like water down a drain. You wake up the next morning and that today you wasted is gone forever. It’s now yesterday. Some of those moments may have had wonderful things in store for you, but now you’ll never know.
She taught me to revel. She taught me to wonder. She taught me to laugh. My sense of humor had always measured up to everyone else's; but timid introverted me, I showed it sparingly: I was a smiler. In her presence I threw back my head and laughed out loud for the first time in my life.
She's alone, they kept telling themselves, and surely she danced in no one's arms, yet somehow that seemed to matter less and less. As the night went on, and clarinet and coyote call mingled beyond the lantern light, the magic of their own powder-blue jackets and orchids seemed to fade, and it came to them in small sensations that they were more alone than she was.
The echo of her laughter is the second sunrise I awaken to each day, and at night I feel it is more than the stars looking down on me.
Where were we?" she said. "Getting credit," I said. "What about it?" "Well, it's nice to get credit." The spokes of her rear wheel spun behind the curtain of her long skirt. She looked like a photograph from a hundred years ago. She turned her wide eyes on me. "Is it?" she said.
The desert seems to be a brown wasteland of dry, prickly scrub whose only purpose is to serve as a setting for the majestic saguaros. Then, little by little, the plants of the desert begin to identify themselves: the porcupiny yucca, the beaver tail and prickly pear and barrel cacti, buckhorn and staghorn and devil's fingers, the tall, sky-reaching tendrils of the ocotillo.
We were awash in tiny attentions. Small gestures, words, empathies thought to be extinct came to life... We discovered the color of each other's eyes.
Maybe it was the angle, but her fawn's eyes, looking up at me, seemed larger than ever. I had to make an effort to keep my balance lest I fall into them.
Stargirl began to improvise. She flung her arms to a make-believe crowd like a celebrity on parade. She waggled her fingers at the stars. She churned her fists like an egg-beater. Every action echoed down the line behind her. The three hops of the bunny became three struts of a vaudeville vamp. Then a penguin waddle. Then tippy-toed priss. Every new move brought new laughter from the line.
At the same time, we held back. Because she was different. Different. We had no one to compare her to, no one to measure her against.
To a person who expects every desert to be barren sand dunes, the Sonoran must come as a surprise. Not only are there no dunes, there's no sand. At least not the sort of sand you find at the beach. The ground does have a sandy color to it, or gray, but your feet won't sink in. It's hard, as if it's been tamped. And pebbly. And glinting with -- what else -- mica.
My pumpkin. And then, if I’ve done a good job, I’m erased. I’m gone. I’m nothing. And then the world is free to flow into me like water into an empty bowl.
So, I said, when does the enchantment start? We were sitting side by side, facing the mountains. "It started when the earth was born." Her eyes were closed. Her face was golden in the setting sun. "It never stops. It is, always. It's just here.