I’ll admit that I have been known to doubt the efficacy and relevance of my own words and work. The endless call to somehow birth and bring forth all that stirs within me often torments. And I sometimes wonder if the ideas that illuminate my mind and the emotions that tug at my deepest soul are more like synapses misfiring or the last leg of a nerve that twinges in pain right before it gives up the ghost; demons that tempt me to just give up.

But on better days, I consider that maybe my thoughts are like stars long since extinguished, having traveled for millions of light years, and just now coming into view – shining, burning, sparkling, breathtaking. Concepts, sentences, paragraphs, and pages that are not mine alone, but part of a long and streaming trail of women’s voices that are making their way into visible focus and recognizable form.

When looking at stars, you’re actually looking into the past. (Source)

As I read this, the torment ceases and the demons flee. This speaks. This resonates. This gleams. This is true. All that I see and all that I know – the thoughts, the ideas, the emotions – are generated from the past.

All that I see and all that I know is a wisdom that has been traveling toward me for generation upon generation. Yes, sometimes covered by clouds or blocked by sun, but ever and endlessly on its way and in my midst. And never, ever extinguished.

What I see and what I know is what you see and what you know, as well: the impossible-to-hide radiance of women’s wisdom. It’s star-shine.

Held, carried, protected, and nurtured within the minds, hearts, and DNA of every woman who has walked on this planet (and a few who have soared above it on planes we only dream to traverse). It accumulates, accelerates, and races toward us – waiting to be seen, waiting to be captured, waiting to be beheld. All the wisdom of all the women who have ever lived – seen, felt, known, and experienced within the universe of us.

Were we to recognize, acknowledge, and honor this – individually and collectively – oh, what a galaxy would burst forth.

Together, gaining ever-more strength, speed, and power, we would stream through both heavens and hells, trailing fire and light behind us. Unbridled in our beauty. Unstoppable. Impossible to hold back. Nothing but space and time within which to glisten and gleam, shine and speak, sing and dance and glow.

Star-shine: the cumulative wisdom of all women throughout all time. It surrounds us. It’s within us.

It is us.

No torment can withstand or demon dwell in the midst of such white, hot beauty and strength. So then, our birthright is to speak, write, muse, love, and live in the most brilliant way we can, the most bold way we can, being the most radiant selves we can. We are to race through the skies of our universe flinging grace, hope, and endless capacity and courage wherever we go, shimmering with the diamond-like reflection of every woman who has gone before, and making visible the legacy we carry within.

“When looking at stars, you’re actually looking into the past.” Yes. And because this is true, it means that our wisdom will shine endlessly through millions of light years ahead. Our present will create the past that will yet brighten the galaxy that other women – our daughters, our granddaughters, and generations to come – will yet see, yet capture, and ever behold within themselves.

Women’s wisdom. It cannot be extinguished. It’s star-shine.