A Creature Born of Stardust — by Pat Bertram

When the universe came into being, creating itself in the big bang, everything that ever would be came into being at the same time. The stuff of the universe — stardust, to be romantic — has been connecting and disconnecting, rearranging itself in an infinity of shapes and forms, for billions of years. Eons ago, it learned how to create life, and during one such moment of procreation, it constructed a semblance of a human being. A million years later, our present species came into being, and many thousands of years after that, I was born. I am of the universe, perpetually a part of it. Although my body seems to be a thing in and of itself, it continues to exchange matter with its surroundings. In a quantum sense, my few electrons are indistinguishable from the whole.

Here I am, a creature born of stardust, at once eternal and ephemeral, physical and psychical, emotional and logical, alive yet forever dying.

Everything that ever happened on earth and in the universe since the beginning has culminated in a single person — me. Everything that happened in my life has created the person I am now. So what is the point of being me? I found my answer quite by accident a couple of days ago.

I was walking in the desert, ruminating over my petty concerns. Although I am coming to an accommodation with continuing to write despite lackluster sales, I still am not comfortable with the idea of being a writer among millions of other writers — never have liked being a face in the crowd.

So there I was, walking, thinking, talking a bit to my deceased mate, when it suddenly dawned on me that at that very moment, I was not a face in the crowd. There was no crowd — just me. I stopped and looked around. A jackrabbit loped by, but other than that, no creature made itself known. I felt the breeze cooling my sweat, heard the air whistling faintly as it passed my ears. I stilled my thoughts and simply stood there in the middle of the desert, deep blue skies above, sun-warmed soil beneath the soles of my shoes, desert knolls surrounding me and blocking any view of the nearby city.

A friend who has endured far worse grief than I have, told me that she is finding peace by telling herself that she is happy. Alone out there in the desert, I decided I was finally ready to take the next step in going on with my life, so I thought, “I am happy.” And I realized that was the truth of it. Right then, I was happy. I had no sense of longing for something or someone, no sense of waiting. My entire life — all the joys and pains, the learning and creating, the loves and losses — had led to that very moment, and I felt as if I had arrived where I was supposed to be. There was no reason for me to be there, nothing to for me to do, no task to accomplish. All I had to do was simply . . . be.

What about you? What do you do with the miracle of stardust that is you? How do you celebrate your connection to the unfolding universe?


Pat Bertram is the author of Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I.All Bertram’s books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. At Smashwords, the books are available in all ebook formats including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!


Filed under life, musings, Pat Bertram, writing

10 responses to “A Creature Born of Stardust — by Pat Bertram

  1. Paul J. Stam

    It is in the place of being empty of self that one realizes they are the totality of the universe.

  2. It has been said the sea is eternal. It isn’t really but its as eternal as anything we are likely to come across on Earth. Fishing for me can be a reminder that I am part of the stars. As in the desert, being near the sea and a distance from the city, the stars at night seem closer, more polished, and more personal..

    There is a beginning and an end to everything and a new beginning. The Celts understood this and it is in the Celtic circle. If you want to see some pretty amazing stuff to do with stars and star dust and new for old then check out The Book of Kells sometime. I know for a fact you don’t have to be Irish to appreciate this sort of thing. Every time I see those illustrations I am filled with awe and also a sense of hope that there is some sense to the universe after all.

    A while back I came across the notion that the reason why a star blinks is that something for a space of time comes between us and the star we are looking at. That something is most probably a planet. Nowadays blinking stars have somewhat more meaning and wonder for me.

    What stardust is in me comes out as the writer behind stories I hope will live longer than I am likely to. The stardust I have allows me to appreciate art and architecture and to write about it. My thoughts at any rate.

    • Your thoughts are always worth reading, Rod. I’d never wondered why stars seem to blink, but maybe that’s only because it’s been a long time since I’ve been out in the open where stars are visible. I’ll check out The Book of Kells — sounds interesting.

  3. A beautiful piece by a beautiful lady. As they said back in the ’60’s “Be Here Now.” Really, that’s all we’ve got–that moment–and we need to pause, take a deep breath and accept the little gifts our complicated consciousness is always busy taking in. A wonderful line from a movie “The Black Robe” is spoken by an old Huron who has just watched his family slaughtered and now is dying: “This is a terrible place, but this is also where the sun is.”

    • Thank you, Juliet. The truth of being in the moment is finally sinking in. After he died, I was in a panic about growing old alone, then the other day it dawned on me that the person who will be growing old alone is not the me of today, but the me of an unimaginable future who would be more experienced in dealing with end times, and so there is no reason to be afraid.

  4. I won’t get into a discussion with you, Pat, on the origins of the universe. I believe it didn’t just will itself into existence; yet I often wonder what might have existed before existence. But that’s another topic altogether.

    None of us can, nor should we, expect someone or something to make us happy. When one looks at the universe and considers its size, reflects that our planet is 4.6 billion years old, it becomes obvious that man, as a species, is transient and that our existence in the grand scheme, in a universe nearly fourteen billion years old, amounts to less than a nanosecond (approximately one-billionth of a second). What a shame we can’t all get along, that we can’t seem to understand that we can’t take it with us.

    Happiness is not a destination, nor is it something that can be found, like some relic in an archeological dig. It’s a choice we make every day. That choice is easier on some days, cheered as we are by sunshine, our victories and accomplishments; it’s augmented by our relationships with others. But our lives endure stormy weather, too. Some days we endure minor turbulence; on other days a tsunami.

    If it’s true that we reap we sow, manifest our own destiny, then it can be said that we seed our own clouds of despair. When we look to things—a new car, dress or suit, the latest piece of technology—or a loved one to make us happy, we surely will find our happiness lacking. It’s been said that birds don’t sing because they’re happy. Instead, they are happy to be singing.

    Only by making happiness a choice, by striving to become the right person, can we see ourselves through the eyes of our loved ones.

    • I was just being poetic about the origins of the universe — I’m not sure it even exists beyond an infinite sea of possibilities. But still, however you see the universe and it’s beginnings, everything that ever was has led to the nanosecond that is us here, right now, today. It seems a thing to honor or even celebrate.

      Since I no longer have a loved one to share my life, I am trying to see myself through my own eyes. Or rather, just trying to see through my eyes. Trying to just be.

  5. That’s what I was going to say after reading your post, “Very poetic.” We are all part of a marvelous creation, but sometimes feel alone, despite that. I think I’d be pretty lonely without my faith and feeling the on-going connection, the reassurace of eternal life.

  6. Beautifully told and great advice.

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