I recently finished reading two really well written books, but can only recommend the first* because the second one, although it won some big awards, had an unhappy and unsatisfying ending. As I sat looking at these two books last evening (I was going to loan them to a friend who is going on vacation) I was struck by the thought that no children’s books have unhappy endings . What teacher wants to read a book to a group of 8 year olds and have them, at the end, all crying or depressed?
I did this to my sons once. I can’t remember how old they were, but I thought that they should be introduced to “important” literature and read them, Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Tell Tale Heart”. I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get to finish it. At least one of them was crying, and they were both afraid. What a stupid thing for me to do. Really. Horrifying, really.
Yet much fiction (and non-fiction) is exactly this: horrifying. What also struck me as I thought about these two books, is how arbitrary endings are. What is an “ending” anyway? No story is ever finished. Even if the character that we fell in love with dies, where did they go? Surely that gorgeous energy is somewhere…the story is not over….ever. Removed from our view, changed, different, but not over.
Goodness is happening all around us. Every life is an ongoing story of positive expansion….even if in the moment it seems unhappy, stuck, bored, depressed, hopeless, or helpless….the story is not over. My story is not over, your story is not over, no story is over.
Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a tough time I will say to myself, “I wonder how this is going to turn out? I am looking forward to seeing the gift!” When I remember to do this, I can feel my energy lighten and I know that I’m shining a light on my path so the wonderful things can find me easier.
Imagine happy endings…even though there are no endings. It will make the journey a lot more fun.
Do you want to be always happy?
Then give up fighting
And learn the beautiful art
Of self-encouragement. Sri Chinmoy
*the title of this book is, “Masterpiece” by Elise Broach (a wonderful children’s book that I thoroughly enjoyed)
** this painting and others are for sale on MY ARTWORK page