Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On endings, happy or otherwise

I sat down to write about endings: How they're hard and painful--as in "ouch, I ran into a wall!"--but often necessary. But then a link on FB caught my eye. I think they're connected.

The link was to a blog post by a well-known writing teacher describing how, in the early stages of his writing, his pursuit of his craft cost him everything: his relationship with his parents, his marriage, any hope of a job. I think it was supposed to be a romantic tale to encourage others to persevere, but what it made me think was, "Holy crap, nothing is worth that..."

But then again, what do I know? I wasn't there. Perhaps he never had a good relationship with his parents? Maybe the marriage was doomed from the start? It might totally have been worth it. Some endings are necessary.

Here's the quote I planned to start out with today, wise words on endings from my favorite NJ Housewife, Caroline Manzo: "There comes a time when you have to recognize that the tides are changing. I recognize that now. And it's sad."

She's describing the end of a friendship. Which is sad. But what I appreciate is her acknowledgement that the sadness doesn't change the reality: the tides have changed; things aren't what they were before. We all face situations where the challenge is to respond to what IS, rather than what we remember (or how we wish it had all turned out).

Even in sadness, there's good news. Because THIS crush of metaphors: changing tides and running into walls that weren't there 5 minutes ago and heartbreaking betrayal? This is what good art (and good life) is made from, if we proceed with care and courage. I think that might be what that writing teacher was getting at.

I'll leave you with this related thought, from Oswald Chambers:
"Spiritual truth is learned by atmosphere, not by intellectual reasoning. God's Spirit alters the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and things begin to be possible which never were possible before."

3 comments:

Sarakastic said...

I wish I loved anything enough to sacrifice that much.

Elizabeth@LongToLove said...

I love this post Trish! Have you read the book "Necessary Endings" by Henry Cloud? I've read a tiny bit, but keep hearing great things about it.

Trish Ryan said...

Elizabeth, I've started the book (at your mom's recommendation!) and am about halfway through. It's got some good, perspective-shifting stuff in there. Very helpful :)