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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Sylvan Sylph on February 25, 2008
"I thought of this walking down the sidewalk one cold, clear night in college (almost exactly two years ago actually now that I look at the date.) I was staring at the stars wondering if I regretted not taking a class on astronomy when I realized that I enjoyed the stars as much, or perhaps more, without being able to classify and name them. I found I would rather think of them as distant shining beings, like they are described in The Chronicles of Narnia, than as the giant masses of gas which implode or explode taking solar systems with them. It occurred to me then that as wonderful as science is, in some ways, the knowledge it gives us does not necessarily enrich our lives when it destroys imagination and wonder. "

The Stars

I do not wish to name the stars, for without a name the mystery remains. With a name come ideas of familiarity and pretenses of understanding. Stars are fairy things. Things I cannot understand, that I do not want to understand. For with understanding the magic is lost; the awe and magnificence diminished. Familiarity breeds, if not contempt, then at least casual assumption. This I do not desire.

For why would I desire to lose wonder? Why should awe be a burden easily cast off? Our petty attempts at understanding leave us standing in the cold darkness; the beauty of the stars turned to giant gaseous formations soon to burn out, or perhaps already gone. Our knowledge will not regain the beauty we have lost. The darkness will consume us as we stand and name the the lights above us, speaking as if we know them and all that they are.

Our familiarity will be our undoing and our understanding will come to naught. In all our arrogance, our knowledge will not tell us that we have gone into the darkness because we could not wonder at the light.

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