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Follow The Sun

Which is the brightest star in the sky?

Well, it depends on where you are looking from. On a starry, starry night on Earth it is Sirius, and come the morning it is the Sun. Take distance out of the equation and the star that shines brightest is apparently Godzilla.

I know, these names are distracting if you know just a few films. Do stars make for a good story? Maybe. They certainly make for a good analogy.

The sun shines most brightly because it is closest to our heart. It lies at the heart of our solar universe. It is our sun. No wonder it feels right to gravitate towards the sun.

But what does it really mean to follow the sun?

Like all stars, the sun is a ball of passion, fusing all our glorious dreams of perfection: A perfect career. A perfect partner. A perfect life. Alas, you can never reach the sun. You can never attain all that you want, and believing otherwise may only burn you out.

I have been chasing the sun for nearly my entire writing life. An essay is never good enough, and neither is the next. A first book is not enough, and neither will ten. I want to write lots and lots, better than before, warts and all no more. I want my words to live on forever, and hopefully help me and my loved ones to live better.

But you see, the sun can never be caught. Some moments may give you a sliver of hope. Yet just as the sun rises, it inevitably falls out of sight.

What we can do, instead, is to follow the sun without chasing it. I recently came to hear this song that goes:

Follow, follow the sun
And which way the wind blows
When this day is done
Breathe, breathe in the air
Set your intentions
Dream with care
Tomorrow’s a new day for everyone
A brand new moon and brand new sun

Every day brings a brand new sun. If I don’t see a brand new sun, it means I am not following it. I remain too fixated on an image of the sun from the past to see it in its new light.

This describes my relationship with writing of late. I have chased a dated dream to the point that I can barely go on further. The more I want to get closer, the further the sun seems to drift.

What I actually need is to just sit down and watch the sun. Watch it rise, watch it fall. Watch how it lights up the sky in a new way every day. Put on fresh eyes. Breathe in the air. Then set my intentions. And dream with care.

This is what I most hope to do now: To see the world afresh, whether they reside around or within me. I realize this mirrors the motivation behind my pen name of Socio Empath. An open mind and a warm heart. This tells me the sun has always been there; it’s just whether I follow it.

I will fail at this, for sure. Many, many times, over and over. But each time I remember to look up, I will have a chance to freshen a dulled existence.

So I welcome you to join me in this journey. I feel the temptation to set targets once more, about how often I’ll write and what they can lead to. But I shall hold myself here, and trust my brightest star to shine the way forward.

So follow, follow the sun
And which way the wind blows
When this day is done