The End?

“Remind me,” I ask Her, “about endings.”

She is patient. There’s something to be said for talking with the Timeless. She doesn’t seem to mind going over this again.

“Endings don’t exist,” She reminds me. “The word itself is meaningless. It’s the label you give to change you don’t want. Change you do want, you call ‘beginnings’.

“The end of a story is when you turn your attention away. The end of a path is when you stop following it. It’s an empty arrogance, this idea that when you stop taking notice of something, that thing ceases to be.

“Sometimes you say ‘Life is Change’ and think you’re being wise, but really Change is Life. The ability to change is what makes something alive. Which means every moment in an animistic universe is crammed so full of infinite numbers of endings and beginnings that marking them is both ludicrous and impossible – like drawing a life-size map of the world.”

“You might as well grieve every time you exhale,” She reminds me. “Also, that’s not a bad idea. Grief honors the beauty of the changing thing. But that thing, that was, will never not have been. And even while it seemed solid to you, it was flowing. It was changing. You clutched the moment when the ceaseless motion of Life became apparent to you, and you labeled that Loss. Or Birth. It is both. And neither.

“Do it anyway. Mourn and rejoice. But understand that you are mutability incarnate in fluidity. Mark endings and beginnings as praise, make rituals and celebrations out of them, but know that by imposing these shapes on the universe you are making Art – an expression of existence, not a description of it.”

We’ve had this conversation before. Many times. And yet…

“It still really sucks to say Goodbye.” I tell Her.

She doesn’t bother to contradict me.

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2 thoughts on “The End?

  1. Diana September 21, 2019


  2. Helene Christopher October 3, 2019

    I’m happy to read this as my beloved father, who is 90 yrs old, is in the process of dying. It could be days or a couple of weeks but it’s real soon. I find myself just crying out of nowhere and then being fine again. This post was helpful. I must continue to mourn and rejoice. Thank you.


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