Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The End of the Story

I have been greatly preoccupied of late (just ask my husband) with a writing project. I was commissioned to write a biography of my parents for a small church historical journal and the submission deadline is September 1. So I have been hard at work.

Yesterday, I hit a bit of a writing wall (all you writers out there will know exactly what I am talking about). The reason? I was at the point in my parents' lives when I had to write about my mother's death. This is one end of the story I would rather not to have to write. But write it I did. Having written about her death on this blog before helped.

As I am writing about my parents' lives, I am also doing a lot of thinking about my own. Have no fear--these are not deep dark thoughts. More like gentle rumination on the living I have done thus far.

I confess--I am consumed with curiosity about the future. Oh, not so much what will happen to me in the remainder of my life. More like--what will happen to EVERYTHING as time keeps on marching.

I am known in my family as one of those readers who turns to the last page of a novel just "to see how things turn out." I think that is part of the frustration I have when I contemplate my own life span being limited. I don't really want to live forever. But I do want to know where the story goes. . .

Do humans wake up and take real steps to protect their planet? Do humans learn to live with other animals? Do nations find ways to live peaceably with other nations? What happens? What happens?

Oh, maybe I really don't want to know all that--maybe the knowledge would be overwhelmingly crushing. True, I can't flip to the end of this story of human history or even earth's history. But that doesn't stop me from being curious about the end of the story.


Anvilcloud said...

I just linked an article on FB yesterday of Stephen Hawking saying something like we have about two centuries to get out here to other planets. Pretty sad, eh? And perhaps he's wrong.

Ginnie said...

I know just what you mean. I know I can't live forever but I am VERY curious as to how this generation will turn out.

Anonymous said...

I read the same Hawking comment that Anvilcloud and felt sad, too.

It puts our presence on earth in perspective to think that Mother Earth could survive without humans. . . but not without ants.

Part of me wants to know, part would rather keep my head under the covers.

Jayne said...

I guess I prefer to focus on my life here and now and the impact I can have on people I encounter. I won't have a stake in the eventuality of how it all unfolds, and am not sure I'd want to be here to see it happen.

NCmountainwoman said...

I have great fears about the future. My biggest fear is that we are raising a generation who have no true critical thinking skills. They rely on electronics to the extent that they have a poor grasp of basic math and science skills. Our schools are "teaching to the test" without enough emphasis on concepts and meaning. Once a toddler learns his numbers, he can look at a digital watch and give you the time. But he has no concept of what the numbers mean. Too often our schools are following that same pattern.

Being a person who would never even glance at the end of a book, I really don't want to know where this story goes. I've taught my own children tolerance, respect for other people and the environment and the need for life-long question and to reason and to think. I'm certain many others have done the same, and that is the key to the future.

amarkonmywall said...

Well, I can easily relate to this post. And I remember that eloquent post about your mother well.

I find myself curious but anxious about the future. Sometimes, very very anxious. I think if I had assurance that my children and their children will thrive and be happy it would be simple curiosity.

Good luck as you continue- may your muse be with you.

dguzman said...

Knowing the end sometimes makes reading the book not so worthwhile, Donna. Maybe we just have to write on, and see where the plot takes us.

Ruth said...

I think we can learn far more from the past than we can by trying to see into the future. Yet history keeps repeating itself and we do not carry forward some of the lessons that others paid dearly to learn. Like Jayne, I find the present enough to deal with a day at a time.