Stars When the Sun Shines: A Memoir
From Zen cherry blossoms to the Noh stage. From Hawaiian breathing lessons to an Okinawan rodeo. From Balinese wise men to the Egyptian pyramids. It all started in small town Minnesota and it ended much later than the doctors said it would. In his early 20s, Wayne Stier was diagnosed with cancer and a less than 50% chance of living more than 5 years. He and his wife Mars responded by seizing the day and moving to Japan.
This extraordinary memoir is full of memorable lines and lessons. Some funny. "Rule of slapstickâ€”stand up quick and pretend it didnâ€™t happen." Some koan-like: "A dogâ€™s bark is a dot pointing out the silence." Stierâ€™s writing will change the way you look at the world. His writing is an act of discovery and rediscovery, from the landlocked plains of the midwest to the slope of an active volcano. In Japan, Wayne became a Kyogen actor and the second foreigner ever to perform on the Noh stage. On the Big Island of Hawaii he built his home and art studio, with living trees forming the corner posts, and wrote the myth of his own life.
In Bali, an old man told Wayne to look at the sky--filled with shining stars even when the sun is shining. Stars when the Sun Shines is about looking at the world through continuously new eyes. Itâ€™s bound to change the way the reader looks at the world as well. Stier's writing burns through illusions to conclusions about a life so full he forgot he was dying, until he did, in Hawaii, on May 30, 2009, weeks after his 62nd birthday.
For readers who gravitate to Eat, Pray, Love because of its spiritual odyssey or The Last Lecture because of its message to live in the moment in spite of impending finality, they will have an interest in Stars When the Sun Shines because it offers a combination of both.
Knowing disappointment is not an option and patience an issue only if it's missing, this "born-again Buddhist" Wayne (Jahn) Stier leads us on a mega-journey infused with humor and determination. Through travel, work, adventure, discovery, new beginnings and further trials this dying man owns his life.
With gusto, often little money, a loving wife and incredible will Stier embarks on a quest to live his moments without the condition of convention. He waxes poetic. He sings through his pain. Stars When The Sun Shines reminds me I am here while I'm here; make the most of it. Captain my destiny.
This mini-memoir is a lovely tribute, not merely to its author but to all of us who choose
life's rich tapestry of the unexpected. Wayne Stier's words of wisdom and humor are as necessary in today's hustle of life as raindrops on parched earth.