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The star thrower

As many people who are close to me will know, I have a huge tendency to overdo everything, leaving me burned out and beaten down because of the limit that is forced upon me by my body. I never want my life or my work to revolve around my illness and never intend to, but there still remains a reality I have to check in with now and then, or my body will force me to do just that. I want to inspire hope within others that even life with a chronic illness is and can be extraordinary in the best way, but sometimes I have to remember to take my own advice, listening to that voice that tells me resting too, can be productive. So this weekend I’ve attempted to do nothing except think, spend more time with my body, listening for once to the things it’s telling me, rather than pushing on and deafening out the feelings and pain that rightly remind me to take care of my self. It still hasn’t been perfect, my contact lense appointment yesterday was a tough one and my stubbornness still prevailed, but I feel I’m doing better. Learning that the world is spinning far to fast for any of us to catch up with, and the only world we can change right now, is our own. My mother with her ever growing wisdom ;) Always tells me the same story, that reminds me I can’t change the whole world in one day, but I can find a way to make it another step closer. And I think it’s a perfect story to end this week with so that the next one will be better.

“Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one.”

"The Star Thrower" taken from the 16-page essay of the same name by Loren Eiseley, published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe.

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