About Lucky Stars
These poems were never meant to be published.
Lucky Stars was not meant to be a book.
I never sat down and thought to myself, “I want to write a poetry book.” I don’t really even consider myself a poet. Rather, I’m just a normal guy, and writing poems is how I vent emotions. I’ve never shared my poems before.
Lucky Stars started simply. Most of my poems are only a page or so long. For a long time, the word document that became this book was meant to be nothing more than a place for me to keep my poems in one place. Over time, I started realizing that many of the poems, short stories, and other entries fit together in a satisfying way. As my collection grew longer, I realized how well the different poems captured my emotion at the time of writing. Each poem captures vastly different but equally intricate emotions.
Over time, writing Lucky Stars gave me a more personal meaning to a quote I have always loved, from my favorite contemporary painter:
“If you have light on light, you have nothing. If you have dark on dark, you basically have nothing. Just like in life. You gotta have a little sadness once in a while so you know when the good times come. I’m waiting on the good times now.”
For most of my life, I tried to show appreciation for everything good - so much so that I have a tendency to block out anything I deem as negative. Lucky Stars is about contrast. Lucky Stars is about understanding winter to appreciate the summer, understanding dearth to appreciate affluence, and most importantly, accepting sadness to better appreciate happiness.
The Bible starts out with the story of Adam and Eve, the first two people God made. According to the account, God made a garden for Adam and Eve, in which they were placed, and every one of their needs was accounted for. In the garden, they had no pain or suffering. Plentiful crops, trees, and bushes grew to give them food. Many refer to the Garden of Eden as paradise.
As the story goes, Adam and Eve failed to obey one of God’s commandments, and as a result, were evicted from the Garden of Eden. Many have a tendency to curse Adam for this. We like to think “Well, gee, if Adam and Eve hadn’t gotten themselves kicked out, we’d all still be living in paradise!” The issue with this thought process is assuming that a life without toil and strife would be paradise. A life void of variance is no paradise, it is simply naivety.
The human experience is different for everyone. People have varying degrees of socioeconomic status. Some of us were born, as the saying goes, with golden spoons in our mouths, while others were born on dirt floors. We have a tendency to use hardship as a form of establishing credibility. Sometimes, we discredit others’ hardships because they seem to be less severe than our own. Sometimes, we even discredit our own hardships because they seem less severe than others.
I’d like to propose a rather controversial take on this. While everyone experiences varying degrees of hardship, the emotions elicited by hardships are the same among all. I have a parable to exemplify this.
A man was born in a golden city. His house was decorated with linens and jewels. Every meal, the finest cooks from all throughout the land made him whatever he desired. In the afternoons, he strolled up and down roads that were paved with gold. At night, he slept on the finest Egyptian linens.
Another man was born in a hut, deep in the jungle. From a young age, he helped his family work for food. He took care of animals, crops, and worked by the sweat of his brow to ensure he and his family ate. In the afternoons, he played with dirt and sticks. At night, he slept on the floor.
Which man was happier?
One day, the golden city was invaded. The man’s father was killed, and he was exiled. It was here he came across the second man. The second man let him in, offering him a safe place to sleep, and a plate at their meals.
After his first day in the jungle, the man from the golden city broke down crying, and told the other man, "My life is ruined! Everything I had -- gone! Surely I can never recover from this! What a horrible curse that has fallen upon my life!"
The man born in the jungle looked at his new friend and said "Sir, without intending offense, you lived this one day the way I lived my whole life. The world is harsh, mean, and cruel. This one day is not even a fraction of the hardship I have faced. You do not know true suffering.”
We may often (and possibly correctly) assume that the man born in the golden city had not experienced as severe of hardship as the man born in the jungle. This, however, is not to say that the feelings he felt were not as powerful, traumatic, and agonizing as the worst hardships felt by the man born in the jungle.
We are all in different stages of life, different tax brackets, age groups, social spheres, and workforces. The feelings all humans feel, however, are the same. The experiences are vastly different, but the light in which experiences are perceived is common to all.
If I were to tell one of my friends that I was feeling sad or depressed, they would likely advise me to listen to cheerful music, go on a walk, and smile as much as possible. When I get sad or depressed, I have found it much more cathartic to listen to sad songs, hide from the world and cry my eyes out alone. Maybe you are not like me. Maybe you are!
Herein lies what I believe to be the theme of Lucky Stars. Lucky Stars is about embracing emotion -- both the good and the bad. It is about appreciating both equally, so as to provide variety in life. This is not to suggest that we should chase depression with open arms; rather, perhaps sometimes, when it finds its way to us, we don’t need to immediately flee it. We can instead choose to find beauty in the diversity - both the good and the bad that life throws our way.
If you would like to read it, I have published one of the poems from Lucky Stars in another post. You can find it here.
Lucky Stars will be available for purchase via Kickstarter starting 1 December, 2020.