I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.
Recently Write Naked posted this quote on her website and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Also this from Nikki Giovanni’s poem Choices: if I can’t have/ what i want…then/my job is to want/what i’ve got/and be satisfied/that at least there/is something more to want
Read the poem in its entirety here. I especially love the ending. Endings are difficult. Knuckle-whitening. The shade of white my knuckles turn when airplanes carrying me take off or land. It’s helpful to read endings nailed by their authors:
The eyes and the faces all turned themselves toward me, and guiding myself by them, as by a magical thread, I stepped into the room.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
It’s the magical thread bit that gets me, the salve to the evisceration one receives from reading this outstanding novel.
Before she could lose her neve, or change her mind again, she ran towards the kitchen. She stared at the harmless-looking wall telephone for a second, took a final deep breath and picked up the receiver.
Alison Lurie, The Truth About Lorin Jones
I love this ending because it portends a happy ending after everything Lorin Jones experiences—and I love the prolific Alison Lurie, anyway. Forever. Bias is always at work amongst artists and their followers/aspirational types. You know?
But what if it prove that I am no harper?
That I lied for your love more monstrously?
Why, then, I’ll teach you to play and sing,
For I dearly love a good harp, said she.
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
The best ‘adult’ fairytale ever written. My copy has marginalia, is battered from traveling everywhere I did for the last 20-something years, and signed. A talisman.
But this post could last forever and I am a mother with an early rising Pre-K-er. Shh, PB! What is bookmarked on your nightstand? The Winter Of Our Discontent. Introduction (Susan Shillinglaw). Page XV. About the angst of history possibly being lost if not written about immediately, but how? About common plateaus unaddressed, writers avoiding looking at the future, giving in to laziness, fear, or wot, wot? And Steinbeck on the brink of becoming a science fiction writer–or was he waiting for science to catch up to his fiction? Fascinating s***! Shh vs. Sleep. Wow–Monday is pretty much here…
These endings left me craving MORE endings. I did a post on first sentences a long time ago – a guessing game, actually. Maybe you could do one on last lines? I so need help with endings.
Beth, I know! Ran out of steam. Solo-parented all day. And baked apple chips. And slow cooked a vegetarian coconut curry. And vacuumed. And did Halloween crafts. And—–zzzzzzzzzz.