There was a time when all I could think about.. was stars.


By Gokul Nair, taken in Sutherland, South Africa

Lazy a child as I was, I remember dusty old astronomy books from our hopelessly out-of-date school library giving form to my otherwise empty floppy bag.
The yellowing powdery pages were stained with black ink mapping out constellations, paired with diagrams and calculations.

I never went through those books with any real focus, there wasn’t a direction in mind, and I just wanted to spend time in a place far from the ground beneath my feat.
Those books felt like bibles. They held answers, I trusted that. I didn’t quite understand them yet but it looked complicated enough that it must have been true.

In all truth,
I was in search of my “God”

For as long as I can remember I had a great distaste for any mention of “God”, the universe in which my head lived needed explanation. My truth needed numbers, physics, and if at all possible, a flashy documentary on the Discovery channel including interviews with random people in white lab coats.
That was the universe I could deal with. The “God” of the religion being shoved down my throat through rituals of my public school felt foreign, hollow and intrusive.

It still does.
The stars on the other hand were fixed in black ink on those yellowed pages, they were bright lights pinned in the night sky.
Until dawn.


Mum bought me a telescope.
It was long, silver and felt cold in my hands.
I remember resting my eye above the lens, leaning closer and closer as if I was about to climb into window that only my naked eye could see.
At sunset, in the afterglow of the setting sun I steered my now long gaze onto the horizon looking out further and further away from my little town, passing birds the glided through the burning orange and disappeared into dull dark blue that collapsed into night.

In the darkness, I could see further.

Millions and millions of light years away, where the homes of the faint flickering lights that danced in my dark brown eyes.
In my mind, those stars.. so numerous that I never dared count.. represented endless possibilities.

To me they represented the vastness of all that is..
They dwarfed the problems in my life that too often filled my chest with no hope of a release.
They were my “God”
Some with names and stories.

They were free for me to draw, redraw and connect as often as I’d like, guiding me in different directions each and every time I dared to pay attention.


As someone who has never been comfortable in my skin – or for that matter my body – I had long since known that my fascination with the possibility of things so far away was driven by a desire to avoid reality.
When I looked up at the night,
There was no Black, no Indian.

No me.

Which suited me perfectly.
The blank space between lights in the sky was big and empty enough to hold my insecurity and carry the eccentricities of my imagination that I never dared shared out loud.


My neck no longer hurts from the craning of my neck towards the sky,
I can barely remember the last time I dared to look.
As I have grown older I have felt the weight of the soil beneath my feet, somehow upon the frame of my body.

My posture is pulled and constricted by forces more sinister than Gravity as my gaze stays fixed upon the ground.
Emerging into the “adult” world as I am, the sheer disappointment of what is possible, for me, makes it difficult to want to look up.
How can I dare to see the worlds of eccentricity possibilities now, bitter as I am?
Somehow those flicking lights don’t carry the same glow.


Since embarking on a journey towards what I’d have to describe as consciousness, I have met many powerful people and read countless pages of theory and history that have begun to empower me.
I have fought on radio stations, blogged and been read in faraway places..
While my legs have never stood firmer on the ground, I cannot bring myself to look towards the sky, and I wish I knew why.
It’s been so long,
I’d almost forgotten.. there was a time when all I could think about.. was stars.

Photo-credit: Gokul Nair – – IG: goku_explores


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