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by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl Chapter 17 Summary

  • Leo is downright "loopy with love" now (17.1).
  • But he's a bit uncomfortable about the whole thing because rumors are already circulating about Stargirl and Leo. To avoid them, he skips lunch.
  • Leo and Stargirl meet after school, and she takes him to an enchanted place. Where, you ask?
  • Let's find out. They walk in the same direction that she led him that day when he followed her. As they go, they joke around about that time. Stargirl teases him about how smitten he must have been to feel the need to follow her around.
  • Stargirl tells Leo that she called to him that day he followed her after he turned around and ran. Well, actually she whispered to him. She expected that he would be able to hear her.
  • Wait a second. Could that have been the noise he heard that day—the one he wanted to warn her about, the one he thought was a coyote?
  • We'll never know, because they continue to banter back and forth in a fun, flirty way as they walk farther away into the desert.
  • At one point, she tells him to scream because they are so far away that no one will hear, but he passes.
  • When they finally arrive at Stargirl's enchanted place, Leo remarks that it is very ordinary looking. There's a tall saguaro and some tumbleweed here and there, but nothing like he expected. She says it provides a "different type of scenery," and instructs Leo to take his shoes off (17.70).
  • They sit down cross-legged and Stargirl attempts to teach Leo about the art of doing nothing. Sounds like fun.
  • Leo jokes that his mother always accuses him of doing nothing, but Stargirl means a deeper kind of nothing.
  • She puts Cinnamon away in fear that a desert animal may think he is a snack before they begin.
  • Okay, time to start… nothing.
  • She tells him that in order to be able to hear what the earth is saying to you, you must quiet your mind as well as your body. Training your mind to do nothing is much more of a challenge than training your body to do nothing. In other words, it's easy to physically rest, but it's difficult to mentally rest.
  • She tells Leo he must find his own way to quiet his mind. Her method is to imagine that there is a giant eraser that erases her bit by bit. The hardest part is erasing the thoughts.
  • Once she has achieved nothingness, the earth begins to speak to her, not through her eyes and ears, but on a different level. She becomes one with the entire universe. Whoa.
  • The two of them close their eyes and attempt to become nothing.
  • As it turns out, Leo isn't so hot at it. He tries, but he can't quiet his mind, so he peeks. When he peeks, he sees Cinnamon getting out of the bag. He is nervous that an animal may get him, so he picks him up and holds him, and tries again to meditate.
  • He doesn't succeed in becoming nothing, but he notices that the volume of his internal chatter is lowered a bit. After a while, he can't even feel Cinnamon in his hands anymore; he becomes connected to the rat. Wow.
  • After a while, he doesn't know how long, he opens his eyes and Stargirl is not there. He sees her off in the distance. She returns, and they walk home in silence holding hands.

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