Wednesday, June 13, 2007
No… this isn’t about book endings (Marcus did that last January). Or about the ending of The Sopranos (Kevin did that the other day). Or the season finale of The Shield(only one more season? Please say it isn’t so!)
It’s about real-life endings. And it’s somewhat personal, so if you’d rather not go there, stop reading now.
My youngest child graduated from high school a few days ago. Two months from now she’ll be off to college. A major phase of her life– and mine – will be ending, and while I’m not sure what to expect, I do know the house will be quieter. And emptier. (My son already goes to law school.)
My 13-year-old Beagle – has Cushings Disease. He’s on medication, but his old age, plus the complications of the disease have taken their toll. He can’t get comfortable in any position for long, he’s losing his hair, and he won’t go down steps. We still take walks every day, but aside from those, he doesn’t do much but sleep. I know we are closer to the end than the beginning
I went to my high school reunion last month. It was a big one, and the night before I had dinner with my high school boyfriend. He was my first love -- the one you still have a soft spot for. I listened to his story, which includes three marriages, three kids, working and traveling all over the world. While it was enjoyable, it made me realize how far apart we’d grown, and how many connections to my past have ended.
I’m about two chapters away from finishing my sixth novel. It’s just the first draft, but the story has been told. The rush of figuring out how it’s going to unfold is over. Now it’s down to mechanics: good prose, suspense, believability. After living with this book for over a year, it’s an ending of a special kind -- you writers know what I’m talking about. I’m already feeling a void, a detachment, which will only disappear when I throw myself into a new story.
None of these are earth-shattering events. They’re the kind of passages we all enter and exit in life. And I’m not overly sad or depressed about them, since I know endings are also beginnings. I’ll be living in a house that actually stays clean for a few hours… enjoying the freedom to eat ice cream for dinner… meeting new people… starting a new book. Already the possibilities are materializing like a rosy summer dawn. And yet part of me wants to stay in that dusky purple hour of evening just a little while longer, watching the light fade into night.
What’s been the most difficult ending for you to navigate? How’d you get through it?