I have decided life is a series of books.
I doubt I am the first to consider how at the end of one chapter another begins. Sometimes it is a literal phenomenon as when writers complete a novel or a collection of poems. It seems that “The End” sparks the enthusiasm to begin sharing. Once sharing, someone decides to publish. In those first moments of announcement, the author realizes the bliss of completion. We throw a party.
Then a new chapter begins.
These chapters come in the form of neglected chapters. For instance, that Les Miserables challenge the author has fallen woefully behind in reading because she had to finish her own book. Much like the laundry pile, it seems monumental. Unlike it, the book will be completed–and commented upon–eventually.
Other chapters resume in a sequel. This time we hope we have learned something from the first saga. But, maybe the same predicaments exist, just in alternate layers.
Suddenly, drama or trauma derails all chapters. This is great for conflict in a novel, but not so fantastic in real life. Because we are the characters. Characters do not get to know how the story ends. Until it does.
These are the stories stowed in the darkest corner of the drawer in a locked box with a map to find the key and directions for the next generation to write them–or burn them. Yet, these just might be the stories of plot-twisting miracles with coming-of-age endings we never could have devised on our own. If we allow these stories’ character development to change us, our lives may actually become novel.
Chapters–long or short, detailed or sparse–build on the tension all writers strive to create. Sometimes life hands it to us on a silver platter. Sometimes we have to dig and claw as if we have been buried alive. Either can be poetic. Either can be a chapter’s conclusion and its catalyst.