The Stars Don’t Disappear

Having just lost a lead in his time travel investigation, crazy scientist Rintaro Okabe turns around in front of the tiny CRT TV store. The July heat is scorching, but in the flickering air just down the alley, he can see his fellow lab member Mayuri reach directly towards the sun.

“Ah, this again,” he thinks to himself. “Her old habit.” Giving odd names to everything just like he usually does, Rintaro calls it “shaking hands with the stars.” He walks over to Mayuri.

“I was wondering whether I could reach for the stars,” Mayuri says. “You can’t even see the stars,” Rintaro counters. And then, almost in passing, Mayuri says the kind of sentence we all want to believe in but often forget as we grow up — except in this case, it’s not just magical but also 100% true: “Yes, that’s right, but even if I can’t see them, they’re still there, even during the day.”

The stars don’t disappear. Have you ever thought about that? Really, genuinely reflected on that fact? I hadn’t. Not only had I never thought that thought, it took a 12-year-old anime show to serve it to me on a silver platter, but now, just like the characters in Steins;Gate compelled to investigate the odd phenomena happening in their world, I can’t unsee it. I look up at the bright blue sky and wonder: “Where are the stars right now? Which ones am I looking at? What are they doing?” Its a daily miracle that keeps on giving.

So are you, by the way. You never stop breathing. Even in your sleep, you keep going. Living. Shining. Of course, someday you will — just like the stars. One day, one more light will cease from the firmament, one more soul will go back to “the pond,” waiting for its next adventure, and though we might glance at the sky or the newspaper that day, chances are, we won’t even notice — but that day is not today.

Whether you feel as bright as the July sun or stuck in the darkest of night, remember: Stars don’t disappear, and neither do you. You are always glowing. Radiating. Brimming with potential. Rearranged stardust, ready to shine on your own or connect with your peers into a coherent picture, serving to guide us all when we look up to you — just like you will find guidance when shaking hands with the stars.