While this is not something I wish to relate to the actual sun, this is an honest story about me with the sun serving as metaphor for my self. It describes my trying to fit in to a world that rewards sameness, and also doing my best to honor my Grandpa's wishes when he died: for me to help people. He told me just before he died to take care of my Mom and to help people, and that is what I have tried to convey in this story, the fear, pain and confusion of beginning at age 8 to serve others while trying to learn about serving my self as well. I tried to help people by first learning a little about energy and attempting to give that energy to others while often creating a mess, becoming a "person," through imitation while feeling "false", hiding my true self and then later as using my given talents and natural personality to brighten people's lives. I hope this clarifies my intentions for this book.
The Only Sun
Written by Steve Panella
Sun, Moon and Earth paintings by Steve Panella
May 11, 2008
This is the story of a sun. An only sun.
This only sun always felt like it was the most important star in the sky. It knew it was very bright and helped to sustain and warm many people, plants and animals. And people loved how they felt in the presence of the sun.
Before long, the sun noticed that the people were happy so he shone proudly in the sky enjoying the happy people. And one day, the only sun began to notice that some of the people were not always feeling good. And he began to wonder if he was not doing his job properly.
So the sun thought that he would make those people who were not happy feel good. The sun tried everything he could think of to make the unhappy people happy. But nothing seemed to work.
The sun worked hard to understand himself and find out what was wrong with him so he could get better and then make the people feel better. As he became stronger, he understood how to get hotter and he baked the desert and burned the treetops. He scorched the skies and he boiled the waters. And then the people became angry at the sun. He had never experienced this and it frightened the sun terribly. So he called upon the clouds to hide him.
And the clouds came and sheltered the sun from the people. And the sun relaxed. But the people seemed angry that the sun was hiding, so the sun reappeared as he had been. When the sun reappeared, the people went back to sometimes being happy and sometimes being unhappy, and the sun was afraid that the people might become angry again if he ever had to hide.
The sun was not sure what to do, but he knew that the unhappy people must be unhappy because he was not doing his job. The sun knew he was supposed to care for and nurture the people. The plants and the animals were happy, but the people were not. The sun did not know what it was like to be human so he tried to imagine what it would be like to be human. For a long time, the sun thought about being a person. In his head, he shook hands with people and smiled at them and frowned and giggled too. The sun ate food and exercised and went to school and slept just like the people do. But there was something missing. The sun never felt like a person because it was all in his head.
So he decided to really try to be a person. He decided this hoping he would be able to find out what being a person was like so that he might return to being the sun someday and then make the unhappy people happy. So the sun traveled down to the earth. The sun was very afraid that someone might notice that he was not really a person, that he was the sun. And so he became very dark. He learned how to hide and pretend to part of the things that the people were doing. He knew that he was still the sun, but he thought that he could remain dark, learn from watching the people and doing what they did, and someday he would truly become a person.
Soon, the only sun began to really live as a person did. He ate breakfast, went to school, came home, watched television, ate dinner, did his homework and brushed his teeth before going to bed. The sun had a mother, a father and some friends. The sun played soccer in the summer and went sledding in the winter. During this time the sun learned many things about being a person. He was really doing it!
And so, on the sun went as a human. Occasionally he would remember he was the sun and then he would get angry with himself and make himself darker than ever. He knew he had a job to do. He had to know what it was like to be a person, and if anyone found out that he was bright, he might be seen as the sun and have to return to the sky. Before long, the sun started to forget that he was the sun. He practiced being a person for so long he had started to get good at it. He made himself believe he was a person, and so he was.
The sun saw that people had relationships and got jobs and lived in buildings and the sun wanted that for himself. He noticed how much he liked ice cream and hot dogs and dreaming when he slept. And the sun pursued these things. The sun even tried to pursue life as an artist, believing that he was skilled and that people would become happy from seeing his art. The sun struggled though. He felt that something was missing.
On a very sad day for the sun, he looked in the mirror and realized that he was unhappy. A little glimmer of hope came from the sun’s eye. Suddenly, the sun became excited. He did not know who he was any longer. But he knew something felt right. He smiled at himself the rest of the day.
Now he was not sure what to do. The sun imagined that he began to see his body and his dreams slowly fading away. And the sun was very frightened. How could he possibly lose his dreams and his body? He did not understand. He ran from the rest of the people because they began to appear different. He did not feel like a person anymore. The sun sought help from people who also had glimmering eyes like he had seen in his own eyes in the mirror that day. He read books and watched movies to learn about that glimmer. He tried religious rituals and time and time again he felt pulled away from the dreams and body he had worked so hard to make real.
One day, the sun called out to God for help though he didn’t know who God was. And within moments, the sun felt immense pain and was sorry he had asked for help. He tried to take it back. He ate ice cream and made art and tried to follow the dreams he had built for himself, but it was no use. The pain got stronger and stronger. The sun began to feel some of his rays escaping. He was sure that people would know that he was bright and he was very afraid. Others arrived to help the sun. They told the sun that everything was ok and that losing his dreams and body was ok. But the sun continued to struggling to hide his brightness.One day, the sun was so upset that the only solution he could see was to jump into the sea. He thought for sure that his rays could not be seen under water and that he could live down there and never be found by people. But this did not work either. The sun jumped in and the
water began to steam and boil and the water spit the sun out. It was then that the sun suddenly knew that he was in fact very bright.
The sun looked at himself and wondered what had happened. His face in the mirror was now made entirely of light. His hands and his feet were light. His arms and legs and torso were all light. And there in the center of his chest was the core of the light. He was petrified with fear.
The next day, the sun tried to return to work. He tried to smile and frown and shake hands and eat ice cream, but the sun was not happy doing these things. The sun looked around and the people looked sad. They were complaining that they had not seen the sun in so long. And the sun knew that they were talking about him and he glowed to himself. The people would then smile and forget that they had not seen the sun. And on it went. Until one evening, the sun realized that every time someone mentioned the sun he would smile. And he figured out that when he was alone he would forget that he was indeed the sun. It was the happy and unhappy people talking about the sun who would remind him who he was.
The sun was becoming exhausted trying to continue being a person when he knew he was the sun. And inside he wanted desperately to return to being the sun, but he did not know how. He looked around and around for the answer. Then one day he met a person who he had known a long time ago. She was like no one else and could make the sun feel like the sun easily. When they first met long ago, the sun was confused because at that time, the sun did not remember that he was the sun. But he wondered what he looked like in her bright reflection now.
She smiled and told him that she was called the moon. And the sun could clearly see who he was because of her. The sun wanted to return to the sky desperately. So he asked the moon to join him in the sky so he could remember who he was at all times. And together, the sun and the moon returned to the sky and the people rejoiced. Before too long, the people returned to their happiness and unhappiness and the sun noticed that the people hardly noticed him except when they looked into the sky.
The sun and moon were very happy together. Without the moon, the sun would forget who he was, and without the sun, the moon would grow dark. So the two agreed to keep the people showered with light. And the sun decided that happiness or unhappiness of the people was up to each person. He figured that the unhappy people did not notice that they were showered with as much light as all of the other people, plants and animals. And that is how the sun and moon became a team.
And the only sun knew then that he and the moon were part of a much larger sky than he ever realized before. And he wondered how many of the people had forgotten that they too were bright stars, just like the sun. It was then that the sun knew how to shine just as he had been created to shine. He also knew that it was he that revolved around the earth, and that he and the moon were part of a grand inter-working system of stars and bodies in space. He was no longer an only sun but was one sun of many suns. He smiled and winked at the moon. And the moon smiled and she winked back.