UPDATE for The Prompt 12/09/14

I’m trying not to pressurise myself to write this week (it’s a challenge I set myself for #WhatImWriting). Instead I’m dedicating some time to other things. But when I saw that #ThePrompt this week was ‘Shine‘ it reminded me of this post and I thought I’d link up. I have to admit the poem makes me cringe a bit but I’m interested in the idea behind it.

Our aspirations shine brightly when they are distant but are they as beautiful up close? Achieving aspirations can be a hard slog so does the reality live up to the fantasy? Do we even want it to live up to the fantasy or does the appeal of aspirations lie in their distance? After all, it is lovely to have something beautiful twinkling from afar that we think, one day, we might reach. Or at least I think so!

Anyway: here’s what I wrote back in April:





Dazzling star of my creation,

Glittering from across the galaxy,

Another time, a future reality.


Distance grants you power untold,

As burning beacon, flag unfurled

You tempt me ever up and on,

Magnetic beauty growing strong.


Yet, aspiration:

Could my vision be mistaken?

Would reaching you, your power dim

Fading and faltering within?


Would you gleam just as you did afar?

Or melt into the night,

Leaving just the dying light

Of a once transcendent star.


I’ve been thinking about aspiration this week, considering what I really want from life and how to go about getting it. Obviously, writing figures very high up on my aspirational agenda. If I imagine a life where I have unlimited time to write, alongside all the aspects I currently love in my life (as it is now), then I imagine myself pretty much perfectly happy.

That thought got me thinking about the nature of aspiration though, and whether the beautiful, perfect dreams we have are beautiful and perfect precisely because they are dreams. I love having something to aspire to. I love my dreams of a future where I am a successful published author. On particularly rough, sleep-deprived, shouty-kids days those dreams keep me going!

If I achieved that dream, would it live up to the fantasy though? That’s what inspired the poem.

I’m not sure about what I’ve written and I’m having huge doubts about publishing this post… but if I didn’t post things I’d written because I wasn’t convinced by them then I’d not post much at all!

For what it’s worth, I bet aspirations glow just as brightly close-up. Or at least, that achieving them sets off some sort of chain-reaction and a new beautiful star shoots off to glitter in the distance. The poem suggests a negativity which I don’t really feel.

What do you think? Do your aspirations still dazzle you when you achieve them?

Prose for Thought

25 thoughts on “starlight

  1. Katie Clark

    I think they do live up to the reality – sometimes! I think quite often it depends what you’re aspiring to and why. I love this poem – the imagery is beautiful #Prose4T

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thank you! and I think you’re right about different aspirations having different outcomes. Some we can achieve and enjoy but others are perhaps more exciting purely in ‘dream’ form!

  2. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    I suspect that sometimes our dreams come true in a way we weren’t quite expecting, but that doesn’t make them any less bright. But, I also think that we probably wish for perfection, which is in reality rarely possible; but I don’t think that’s a bad thing! It is our dreams and aspirations that keep up moving forward, always trying to do more/better. And, that has to be a good thing x Beautiful words and imagery x #Prose4T

  3. Maddy Post author

    You are so right! Sometimes it’s the smaller, less sparkly stars that take us by surprise and become the most beautiful of all! And I agree that it’s good to have aspirations that we can’t quite ever fully achieve just to keep us motivated and excited about the possibilities the future holds. Thanks for commenting. x

  4. Stephanie

    Interesting questions! I think that whatever you do in terms if work is work. It might be your dream job but it is still a job. I imagine being a published writer carries as much weight as it does joy. Still it is a gift to get paid to do the thing you love!

  5. Maddy Post author

    You are probably right about that Stephanie – I’ve often known authors who write successful first novels (sales-wise) to say it then puts them under a lot of stress and pressure to write another! So achieving the dream comes at a price. But as you say, to be paid to do something you love is a very good thing!

  6. Jenny

    I think it depends on what it is. Sometimes it lives up to it and sometimes as soon as you achieve it you are looking towards the next glittering aspiration! Great poem. #prose4t

  7. Verily Victoria Vocalises

    Firstly what a beautiful poem. It actually made me think of the potential of what might happen and what is for you won’t pass by you. I am so similar in what you have said – I wish for things and, when I get them, I wonder if I really did want them in the first place! Thank you for linking this thought-provoking piece to Prose for Thought x

  8. Maddy Post author

    Thanks Victoria! Glad it made you think and thanks for hosting such a fab linky – am enjoying reading the comments as they are making me think even more!

  9. Wicked World of Lucas

    Fab poem and such an interesting subject. I spent so long aspiring to be something that I clearly wasn’t and wouldn’t be but now I accept who I am. I still have ambition, imagination and determination to change things within my control but I no longer aspire to things as I found that this usually leads to disappointment. Fab post #prose4t

    1. Maddy Post author

      Ambition, imagination and determination sound like very good things too! I think aspirations can be achievable, I guess it just depends what you set your sights on. It’s definitely a good thing to identify what is actually possible and it sounds like you have made peace with what that is for you. Thanks for commenting xx

  10. David / Oddly active

    I’m not sure, really… I think it’s human nature to always want (aspire) to some sort of goal, but we’re also pretty good at being complacent and neglectful about the things we have aspired to and achieved. As far as writing goes, I think writers write for themselves / their own need or pleasure first and foremost and that any wider success is a lovely bonus. On the downside, success could come with demands that make the need a commercial rather than personal one, and that could diminish the pleasure? Not being a successful writer I haven’t really a clue (!), but I guess it’s horses for courses, and that those who manage to write ‘for themselves’ successfully (I think Stephen King would be a prime example – if you cut off both his hands he’d start typing with a pencil held in his teeth) enjoy the best of both worlds… #Prose4T etc :D

    1. Maddy Post author

      Ah yes, to be able to write just for the love of it AND have commercial success that doesn’t diminish your love of writing – that’s the ultimate aspiration surely?! It’s such a high goal though that I’d prefer to aspire to something a little less lofty to begin with and build my way up, jumping from star to star as it were. If I ever get as far as the first star that is! Thanks for commenting David.

  11. Emily Page

    Lovely words. A very contemplative style. Until I read your explanation, I thought this was about a desire for anther person. Our relationships with our dreams can be similar in nature to our relationships with people. I guess you know when you find the one, it isn’t always pretty as you continually learn and improve but it keeps you warm at night and makes you feel safe. That’s the perfect job & the perfect relationship. So hard to find and keep both.

    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh that’s interesting that you thought it was about a person! Reading it back I can see how you could have thought it. I would certainly say that lasting relationships are not nearly so glittery as they might appear in the early days but they are satisfying on a much deeper level – less sparkly but more substantial. Thanks for commenting Emily.

  12. Louise

    Lovely poem – I love the imagery of this, visualising our dreams as stars just out of reach. I think some dreams do live up to our expectations whilst others don’t come true in quite the way we expect them to and others may lead us to bigger dreams.

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Louise, yes I think you’re right which means there’s a whole galaxy of different stars out there – some we can reach, some we can’t and all of which shine in different ways.

  13. Sam

    Funnily enough I’m reading a book called A Landing on the Sun at the moment in which a couple of characters philosophise about the nature of happiness and there is a quote in there something along the lines of the further we are from being happy, the happier we are, because we have something to strive towards. I think! It kind of resonates with what you are expressing here because it’s that ‘looking forward’ bit of our lives that is sometimes the best bit! I don’t think you have anything to feel uncertain about here – a very thoughtful post. X #theprompt

  14. Chrissie Metcalf (Kristina)

    Dazzling is a good way of thinking about things when you get too close. I think maybe things aren’t always as they seem. I know my job is one of those things. I was made redundant then pushed for two years to get back to where I was. Now I have that, and it’s scary and some days horrible. But when there are days when we’re all AWESOME and that’s when it’s worth it.
    I don’t need to tell you how great your poem is. xx


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