Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Endings always strike me as bittersweet. Narratively, I crave the ending. I want to know what happens, how the story ends. I want to feel the rush and the thrill of the rising dramatic tension. I will stay up all night reading just to get to the ending. I fall into bed thinking of it. I wake up the next morning and my thoughts are clouded by the story that still plays heavily on my mind. I'm in love. In love with the heady rush of the story.

I'm in love, and I'm in mourning.

It's over. There is no more narrative to anticipate. The characters, whom I have taken in as my own people, have left. The world I briefly lived in, is gone. I can revisit them by rereading, but that's only revisiting old memories, not making new ones. Our lives are permanently cut off from each other once the story arc ends.  And I'm sad for that.

I know, I know: it's just a story. But all the same, I don't think I would have done too well on a three month long passage across the Atlantic to the New World. It's not about homesickness; it's about knowing a door has shut, that you'll absolutely never see someone again.

April is end of spring semester at the university. This is the third year I've been in grad school, and I have to say, I can't remember the two previous Aprils. The energy the end of semester takes seems to obliterate memory.  Ends of semester have their own sense of heightened tension, much like a narrative ending, a hectice rush that I love. It stresses me out, but I also thrive on it. I'm never as productive as I am at the last minute.

When real life endings occur, I'm usually happy to have achieved something, but sad to see that phase of my life end. Not so this April. Oh, I'm still happy with my achievements, but I'm not sad. This may be my last semester teaching composition at this particular university -- but that doesn't sadden me. This is my last MFA workshop -- but that doesn't sadden me. There are so many endings arriving this month; they're just as stressful as ever, but not particularly sad or bittersweet. It's a strange predicament.

I don't think I've changed all that much; I think I'm just ready to move on.

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