Happy endings


Happy Endings (acrylic on old board)
Happy Endings (acrylic on old board)**

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
For negativity
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

14 thoughts on “Happy endings”

  1. Mary, thank you for a wonderful reminder …. Instead of,it’s over , it’s what’s next? Xo

  2. Dear Mary, thank you for this. I am currently in the midst of challenging times in my life and your post this morning uplifts my spirits and reminds me to shift my thinking about how things are unfolding. Inviting a happy outcome and expecting my story to continue in a positive direction releases my fears and helps me return to my center of encouragement and happiness.

  3. I found myself off center, out of balance, and kinda stuck recently after an unexpected brief hospital stay. I was mired in thinking, and then of course, in feeling that I was not myself. And impatient with myself as well, despite my meditations and affirmations otherwise. Until I had tea with a dear friend who reminded me that I am perfect right where I am, and what if nothing is ‘wrong’ here and I am right on track… yet I was making where I was ‘wrong’ and ‘not me’. I had quickly moved past appreciating how far I had come, almost negating my progress, to sit stuck in ‘not me’. Not a place ready to attract high energy! Her comments immediately re-lit my inner flame. I left her company thinking, “Wow!, I have nothing to fix…let my light flow!” And in it came! In looking back, it has never been more clear to me that my thoughts were counteracting and blocking all the good healing energy. So this morning, your blog really speaks to me yet again Mary…a follow up tea party. From your line ‘surely that gorgeous energy is somewhere’ to ‘the story is not over’ to ‘imagine happy endings’…I feel even lighter…I feel I am spiraling up…flying like your adorable pig in your painting! And it feels great! I just looked up “Masterpiece” and it looks like a delightful book to read! Thanks to you Mary! For EVERYTHING…for your masterpiece!

  4. Thank you Mary for this wonderful post of encouragement. Thinking of children’s books, I am reminded of the Little Engine that
    “thinks he can”, as he chug, chug, chugs up the hill. So often we feel off track, out of sorts, and we are so hard on ourselves. Maybe just pausing, letting it all be, wherever we may be, even in a mess, – trusting we will get back on track. I think I can, I think I can. . . Kathye, continued healing to you, a gentle hug to all.

  5. I enjoy reading literature that has an appropriate ending, maybe sad, maybe tragic. That is the way of all lives. I had a principal once who couldn’t understand why English teachers had students read literature with sad endings. This was a ridiculous sentiment! Our lives are filled with tears, laughter, despair and hope. What we read is too.

  6. For some months now, I’ve rarely responded here to these… best-ever posts. Mary, every posting grips me with a yes and a positive knowing. Thanks for every thought and putting these up for those of us that love your examples. Your efforts are not wasted. love to you

    Who knew the artist in you?

  7. A wonderful, uplifting message, Mary. It took me back twenty plus years, remembering a children’s book that I read a zillion times to my dear niece. To this day, she reminds me how much she loved the story but, more importantly, the message it conveyed.
    As the renegade of the family, I always marched to a different drummer; always pursued non-traditional careers and traveled to curb my curiosity. In the eyes of my niece, the book embodied my adventurous spirit and motto of life. Only later did I learn it was based on a ‘real’ woman from Maine who was called the ‘lupine lady’. I hope it’s still in print.
    Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. “Do something to make the world more beautiful.”

    1. Thanks Cheryl for giving us the title of a book you treasured. I’d love to hear from anyone here at WFF with book recommendations – such a thoughtful carrying community must have a lot of good reads to share.

    2. Cheryl, I found Miss Rumphius on Amazon and plan to order it for my six year old granddaughter. Books like that are a treasure. There is a certain charm to books written all those years ago. Sandy P in Canada

      1. Lucky girl! The truth of the matter is that while it was written as a children’s book, people of all ages can appreciate it. I never once tried to dissuade my niece from reading it ‘ one more time’.

  8. Mary, your post is timely for me. I am having the slant ceiling of my studio repaired as the skylights have leaked and the wallboard was badly damaged in places due to a bad roofing job years ago. Last year a new roof was put on the house and there were no leaks and if ever there was a winter for leaks, it would have been last winter with all that ice we had. However, the gentleman who was doing the repairs took off Sunday without telling me when he’d be back. He’s done the plastering, plaster dust covered the floors, everything in sight with some coverage from sheets. The wood floor this morning was white. I was fussing around yesterday because he did not come to finish the job of repainting the ceiling and had a luncheon for our Telecheck volunteers. It was a pot luck and one brought some Chinese food take-out. As I was cleaning up the counter after everyone left, I opened a small brown paper bag. In it were three fortune cookies. I opened the first one, curious. It said: “Develop some flexibility in your point of view”. I smiled. I’m not saying that I felt happier for the message but it sure pointed out that I required a slight attitude adjustment. I cleaned up the studio, floor is back to brown wood again, windows washed, waiting now for the workman to return. A free spirit, I suspect…
    SandyP in Canada

  9. When I was a little girl my mother would read to me at bedtime. One book was about a bunny that had ears , Pookie. I have no idea where she found it. I loved animals and I suppose she thought it would be a sweet story. It did end well but it was so sad. I remember crying my eyes out. As far as I can remember my mother read the whole story and I don’t think she was disturbed by my reaction. In Britain in those days it was a good thing to develop a “stiff upper lip”. I don’t suppose it alone was the cause of the deep depression I have always suffered but when I have one of my “downers” I often find myself crying as I did for Pookie. I finally decided to try to find the book because I could not remember what was so very sad. To my surprise I did find the book after all these years and I can see why a sensitive child would be upset by the story. I just can’t believe that children’s books are not screened. Children are sensitive and absorb everything like little sponges. I have remained tremendously sentimental about animals. When my senior cat Panther died in February I was more heartbroken than I have ever been. Only now I am coming to terms with the loss of my best friend. The awful sadness I had over Panther felt the same as the way I felt back when I was 4 or 5.
    I was interested in your blog. For sure if I had ever had children I would have been very careful about any stories I read them!
    Best wishes Mary.

  10. I am losing my mind……the “bunny had ears”…..well yes most do but they don’t have wings……Pookie had wings and everyone made fun and wouldn’t talk to him.

  11. I love your pig, Mary!
    Pure joy!

    I read a summary of ” Masterpiece ” and I’m hooked. Thanks for sharing that gem.

    ” Miss Rumphius ” is wonderful, Cheryl. I read it ages ago with my friend’s daughter.
    Thanks for the happy reminder!

    Goodness abounds always!

    Thanks for sharing, all of you, everyday.
    Keep spreading the loving kindness.

    Blessings to all,

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