what the world needs


All of the inspiration I need is in the stars.

I went running tonight, as usual. It’s been too hot to run during the day recently, and I like running beneath the stars best, anyway.

If there is one area in which Taiwan does not not compare to Northern California, it is the night sky. The humidity in Taiwan and, in many places, the smog and bright lights, make star-gazing an almost impossible dream.

In Northern California, on a moonless night, they’re all you see.

But I was worried, tonight, that I hadn’t been clear in my last post. You see, although I loved Taiwan, it would be a lie to say that I loved every minute I was there. There were most certainly things I didn’t like, and at times I craved nothing more than the dry breeze and mountain air I breathed tonight. The point is, though, that no extremes—in temperature, weather, or whatever—are fun for long in the place you call home. While in Taiwan, I often took comfort in the fact that I had an arid home to go home to—even if just for a few weeks out of the year. I also looked at the often-uncomfortable climate as simply being a part of the package that went along with living there: If I wanted to experience Taiwan and all of its adventurous glory, I had to experience the humidity that went along with it.

. . . I had to look for the good to find my way through the bad.

Sounds a little like life, doesn’t it?

And I guess maybe I’m just weird. My difficulty in dealing with the recent heat at home lies in the fact that, a) The weather at home isn’t supposed to be like this, and b) If it is like this, well, what do I have to look to to get me through it? Everything here is status quo: People are coming and going and living their busy lives and not really thinking beyond the here and now or about what else might be out there. It’s a small world and a life I’ve decided I don’t want. I said in my post about “dreamers”  that I had a dream to write, and I do. But, I’ve realized recently that it’s far more than that, too. I don’t just want to write. I want to write about SOMETHING. Something far bigger than myself or even the story on the front page of the newspaper. The world needs a glimpse of just how big—and how small—the world is and why the way a person on the other side of the planet lives should matter to them.

The world needs a bigger heart, and I want to give it to them.


“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”Oscar Wilde

“I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.”

— Vincent Van Gogh

Image: Pinterest

28 thoughts

  1. Maybe you need to start planning another project overseas? Teach English in Thailand, they’re gentle people in Chiang Mai. All kinds of interesting individuals, Thais and foreigners, people who have a dynamic view of life. Something like this, somewhere in the world, this is what you need, I think…

    • I think that you think right. Thank you for confirming my thoughts! I’ve actually already begun formulating plans. Thinking South Korea, but I would definitely be open to Thailand, too. I loved Chiang Mai during the short time I was there.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  2. I have no doubt that you will find your way to your dream Jessica. I guess the challenge will be in what way you give the world the bigger heart that it needs.

    Your quest reminds me of a friend of mine. She went through a very dark time and turned to writing and art to help her get through. She was also a single mom and needed a way to support her family, so she began selling her art/writing. She has brought so much comfort to struggling women through her business, and I know that she is loved by many for her heart. Because not only does she sell what she creates, but she wraps everything with love. A package from her is like Christmas morning every time. And there’s not only that, but she also communicates with different women as well. They will email her stories and she will carry those around with her. She has a facebook business page, and will share some parts of these stories. She will ask others for advice or just to hold different women in their thoughts. What started out as a way to feed her kids and keep the lights on in her home has turned into so much more.

    • What a wonderful story, Dan! Thank you so much for sharing. Your friend’s story actually reminds me of my dad’s girlfriend. She went through a horrible divorce in which she literally left her own home with nothing just to get away. Now, she wants to do whatever she can to help other women who might be going through a similar situation. It’s truly amazing what we can pull from some of life’s hardest circumstances, and the beauty that we can create…

      Yes, one day at a time, that’s what I keep telling myself. This “dream” of mine is only gradually unfolding. Up until a few months ago I thought I wanted to return to a “normal life” in the States. It took moving home to tell me that, maybe, this wasn’t what I was called to do, after all…

      Thank you so much for reading and your kind comments. They mean the world to me. :) Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Most people don’t seem to mind the day-in/day-out grind in the same location all their lives… I guess I should say I’m glad I had the chance to get away, though; otherwise, what difference would I know?… Then again, I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer, and independent to boot. So I suppose I would have created my own opportunity if it hadn’t come my way! ;)

  3. The itch is getting bigger and bigger! I got excited reading your post. I love dreamers. I’m always inspired by people who realize that life is bigger than the status quo. Go for it. Looking forward to reading about where your journey takes you next.

    • Thank you so much, Bupe Rose! As I told Dan in my comment above, this “dream” of mine is only gradually unfolding. Growing up, I never really imagined anything outside of the status quo. It took moving to strange place 3,000 miles away to realize that, maybe, life didn’t have to be that way…

      Thank you for your continued readership and support! So glad to call you “friend”! :)

    • I would love to see Chile, and especially the stars! I also wouldn’t mind moving somewhere that *wasn’t* humid! Thank you reading and for the suggestion! Also, I don’t mind quiet. Hong Kong drove me crazy because of the crowds!

  4. I write too, and share your sentiments about subject matter. I want to write about the essence. I want to capture that essence – whatever you care to call it. My books take me so long to write and involve so much energy that I feel incapable of writing something that isn’t from the heart. Here’s to the night skies.

    • Exactly! That’s something I think of lot of non-writers don’t realize—just how much time writing requires and takes out of you. I can’t write anything without heart, and I think that that’s why I realized journalism wasn’t for me: Unless I’m writing about something I’m really passionate about, crafting articles is stale and tedious for me. I hate it. I need to be free to capture essence, as you said, and talk about the things my heart is bursting about—otherwise, what is this life for?

      I can imagine how much time and energy writing your book must require! Even just writing posts on my blog takes a lot out of me!

  5. Jessi, your point today is the same with me. A writer is not only for writing something and posting it somewhere , but also so that he/ she can give something for this world. She/he can raise the voice about common problems of the people around world ^^ A writer is not only writing something about personal feelings, but also for the rest of the world because every person is part of this world ^^ ;)
    Best wishes ^^ Go ahead ^^ Take care of yourself, too. Your pen is much more stronger than you think ^^ :)

    • Thank you so much, Chuda. That is the sweetest comment I’ve gotten all day. It reminds me of a poem by John Donne:

      No Man is an Island

      No man is an island,
      Entire of itself,
      Every man is a piece of the continent,
      A part of the main.
      If a clod be washed away by the sea,
      Europe is the less.
      As well as if a promontory were.
      As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
      Or of thine own were:
      Any man’s death diminishes me,
      Because I am involved in mankind,
      And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
      It tolls for thee.

      • Hmm Jessi, How can you share easily your feeling easily with poems, remember the poems with in a minute. I have feeling that you are getting more deeper and deeper of your pen story. That makes really happy for you and once to think. You are going to be big writer. Keep your way, my thumbs are up for you. You know , I used to write a lot also during my stay in hometown , I have also read a lot of books and magazines , articles and so on. I also show interest for politics too. I also have tried some poems , but I could not continue it, becoz of my study. I will be happy , if I get time, read a lot of books , have them around me, read them all the time. write something ^^ go inside them ^^ :)

  6. You’re on a roll again, and it’s fun to go along on the journey with you. You’ll find your way. Trust in that. Believe that. We’re all on that journey. We all provide those glimpses you speak of through ourselves and our writing if we dare to open the windows to our souls.

    Sorry for the scattered thoughts. My mind is still clearing from the gobs o’ fun I had at the dentist.

    • And thank you so much for joining on my crazy, disjointed journey, Jeff. Means the world to me. Yes, I’ll find my way. What other choice to I have? Lol. And you’re right: We’re all on that journey. Not everyone is called to live a far-off life, and that’s okay. It reminds me of your post that we’re all called to be ambassadors and can make a difference right where we are… It’s also true that we provided glimpses into our souls in our everyday interactions with others, and certainly through our writing (if we are willing). Sometimes I hesitate to write about my crazy ups and downs—don’t want to come across too scatterbrained or sound like I am complaining. But it seems the times I am the most vulnerable are the times I am able to make the most impact. Strange how it works, isn’t it?

      Hope your tooth is feeling better!!! So sorry for all of your pain!!

  7. I recommend you watch Edward Burtynsky Manufactured Landscapes. He is a Canadian photographer that perhaps did what you want to do, except he used a camera. The documentary looks at how we are all interconnected on this conveyor belt but that conveyor belt serves us unequally. It is quite sad because there are no easy answers, just an appreciation for how the world is and that in there there is beauty.

    • Thank you so much for the suggestion. I’ll look it up. Sounds fascinating. And yes, I agree that there are no easy answers to any of this. But it *is* helpful to be able to see the beauty in things. Without that, I’m not sure this life would be worth living. Thank you so much for commenting. It’s good to see you!

  8. “The world needs a bigger heart, and I want to give it to them.” — such a lovely thought, Jessica. You never cease to inspire me. A thoughtful write-up not many can conjure up.

    • You are too kind, Tanumoy. I wrote this one on a whim. A passionate whim. My dad wasn’t clear on what I’d meant by my previous post, so… The best writing comes from passion. I LOVED your most recent write-up, as well! You saw my comment. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend! :)

      • Ah, writing on a whim is the best thing to do… I do it more often. At least I did that in the last post! :-P I had a quiet weekend… hope you are having a pleasant week. Good day! :)

  9. “A new heart is what I need. Oh, God, make it bleed!” – U2, “Like a Song…”

    I know the status quo, how it dries you up and spits you out and makes you wonder why you bother going on with it, if it changes nothing and affects no one. I know the desire to rip your heart out of your chest and make others see what it means to bleed for something, someone, some greater moment in the history of the world. And I know the frustration of not having a clue how to go about it, of knowing that those who rip their hearts out take the risk of dying with it in their hands, while the rest of the world keeps right on running its endless circles…

    I hope you find a way to show the world’s heart how to grow.

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