You can’t start climbing the mountain until the first rays of sunlight touch the top and you don’t want to be touching stone when the last evening beams fall, so from the moment your foot touches the base there is no time to spare. The mountain is so tall you can’t see the top for the boulders in between and there’s not time enough in the day but if you want it badly enough this is the only way.
Rayna sat in front of the mirror removing her makeup and wondering who she would discover underneath.* Her cheeks had felt hot all afternoon, a warm flush that suggested her stars were shifting. But she had to focus on the dictation she was taking, the click of keys as her fingers flew across them. A long afternoon! Oh, there were some of these brazen young girls in the office who went practically bare- you could see the pin-prick glow of stars right through their makeup. Rayna grew up with a proper standard of modesty, and she was not about to abandon it for any new fashion fad. Showing off your Truth-Face to the world! She rinsed the rag, pale now with foundation, under the faucet and applied it to her face again.
I hope if the stars are laughing at us it is gently, gently, because they know everything will turn out all right in the end and this was all all all a twisting turning cliff-tumbled footpath to that final sweetness. I hope if the stars are laughing at us it is gently, gently, because we are so young and tired and wild and so afraid that the world is ending and they have watched the word’s heartbeat stutter and steady and stutter and steady and it would take more than this to shake such ancient bones. I hope if the stars are laughing at us it is gently, gently, because oh, I cannot bear anything else, but they sing a tapestry older then pain and younger then righteousness and surely they have watched long enough to begin to understand what it is to hurt and cry and love and try. I hope if the stars are laughing it is gently, gently, gently.