There once was a young acrobat by the name of Francis who helped place the stars in the sky each evening at dusk. Francis was a thin whip of a young man at six foot two with long, limber arms and legs. His face was warm and inviting with eyes that lit as he effortlessly glided along the clouded corridors of his small sky town of Airstore. All his life he had been asked to help with tasks that involved squeezing into small spaces and moving quickly and flexibly through challenging tasks many others could not attempt given their stature and abilities. Francis was honored to take on such tasks for the gods and enchanting goddesses who had restored the small airbase he called home alongside 500 or so other Airians.
As a young boy, Francis would leap above the small silver hydrogen orbs that served as markers for the territory of their small sky-town, grazing his toes like a gazelle up and over the endless shapes made from the celestial gasses enswirling them. His body would fling itself into the air, trusting itself to take shape in motion over and around the aimless streaks and swirls of lustrous star matter. As he grew from a young man into the time of crossing the threshold to be assigned his divine tasks, he was asked to help place the stars alongside Zora and her nimble team of star-placers known in Airstore as Luminarians.
Francis had never considered that he might be chosen as a Luminarian. He had caught glimpses of them through the years when he awoke too early in the evening from a dream and couldn’t fall back to sleep. He would see them out mixing the helium and hydrogen in the sky bowls that sat at the corner of each corridor, each measuring their ingredients carefully before stirring their long arms down and around endlessly in smooth circles and scooping the star batter up and out onto large velvet blankets beside them. They would then hop down to take small handfuls of the gassy mixture and quickly shape them into pointed stars with the help of aluminum cutouts they kept attached at their side on a small belt. Once the stars were shaped with roughly 3-5 triangular points of distinction, said to help their glow better illuminate the surrounding sky, they were tossed into a balloon pouch that they would then carry into the sky. Some stars had distinct formations needed to hold the order of the universe in its rightful place, while a certain amount could be tossed at random as the Luminarian floated and found their way around their assigned orb.
While this all was incredibly entertaining to watch, young Francis wanted to be an actor, taking on character roles in the Great Cloud Theater he had been attending since he was small. At the Great Cloud Theater, life was reimagined and all sorts of characters and ways of being were brought to life. There, you could be more than an Airian simply by shifting into costume and taking on a new voice. There, you were formless and shapeless as the star matter itself. This is where Francis belonged, but the gods and goddesses assigned him to the Luminarian team and there he would perform his needed tasks of helping to make and place the stars each morning. He was assigned a sky bowl at the edge of the corridor where he lived and learned the route to pick up the ingredients at the DreamGas on the far edge of town each morning. There was a small ceremony where he was bestowed his star-shaping belt, hand-stitched from the wise elder Seema. Francis was honored and took on his tasks with great care. Through the years, he helped create new star patterns and assisted in filling in for fellow Luminarians when they weren’t feeling well. He would practice his movements in the evening and write great monologues from characters that visited him in his dreams, bringing them into his star-making tasks each day. Fellow Luminarians were in awe of his enthusiasm and always eager to see what character Francis would arrive in each day. They would also poke fun after he’d leapt and twirled and sung out into the dusk each morning.
Francis started to feel different from the other Luminarians and like he’d been improperly placed. He began to sleep in as it felt like a cure for his lonliness to spend more time with the characters in his mind. He stopped picking up the hydrogen and helium at the DreamGas each morning and instead would visit the park to practice his leaps and tucks and twirls.
The world was much darker without his stars in the sky. It was difficult to see as clearly as one could when Francis was part of the team, yet he felt more alive than he had been in years, eager to start each day– to walk on his hands across the cloud bed, practicing his drop spins and scoots– flinging his nimble body into the air into lustrous twirls so enchanting one might mistake him for a celestial body himself.One day the Goddess Sora flew from her ethereal station to speak with Francis about his decision to leave the Luminarians without warning. She explained that there were others depending on him and the universe really needed his talent and abilities there. Francis’s eyes welled with tears as he explained his dilemma. He just knew he was meant to take on these characters that visited him in his dream, bring them to life in the Great Cloud Theater as so many great acrobats and actors had done through time.
Sora could tell this was weighing on Francis, who had been suppressing this desire for many years in order to fulfill his duties. She left to speak with the elders about this matter who all empathized in agreeance with the young man’s wish. They knew a young woman at a corridor not far from where Francis lived that was eager to take on the Luminarian tasks. In fact, she had been waking to watch them early each morning, following along as they stirred and shaped and placed their stars in their balloon pouches and carried them to the sky. They asked her to shadow Francis for the next few weeks, learning his methods and taking on his route to soon shape and place the stars for their corridor. Francis was delighted and couldn’t believe that they agreed to release him from his divinely given duties in order to pursue his dream of performing in the Great Cloud Theater at last. He vowed to speak his truth from there on out and trust that while there might be those that sneer and laugh and misunderstand, there are still so many more who want to meet you and support you along the way. He knew this now and would live his life by this decree, trusting his voice as much as he did his body to find and take shape as he flitted and flung and sang and dreamed his way through his days.