Last Pages

Yesterday I reached the last page in my current journal, which I began February 21 of this year.  This volume (below, right) and its predecessor,  started September 26, 2009, together chronicle the most difficult period of my life so far. (I have said this more than once, and get proven wrong every time, so maybe I should stop saying it!)

Crappy webcam photo because I am lazy and Nikita is taking a nap.

For me, there’s always a creepy little frisson of dread upon reaching the last page of a journal, like I have to be at some sort of profound conclusion in my life.  I think the timing has worked out on that, like, once, namely the Summer of Great Healing which neatly fills one fat, squat, leatherbound and brightly colored birthday gift, and actually immediately precedes Sneaky Hate Vortex Vols. 1 and 2.  (I am now very tempted to go home and look at the start and end dates of every single journal I have from fifth grade forward and perform some dubious form of numerology.)

“I confess that I messed up and took the easy way out in response to stress yesterday, but I still want to change and that is what counts and perhaps [his] greatest gift to me was to help me realize that….Purity does not consist of wanting nothing but of wanting only one thing: ‘that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of hte LORD and to seek him in his temple.'” -Wednesday, February 16, 2011

“And then I claim the same [complete healing] for me, that I will not be forever scarred and bitter from the past but that I can be renewed and made more human. I know this and I want to believe it–Lord help my unbelief!” -Tuesday, December 12, 2011

I knew a girl in high school who claimed that she read books backwards (not literally word for word, just starting at the last chapter and moving back) because that was the only way she could decide whether a story was worth reading.  Then and now, that borders on blasphemy for me because reading is one of the few things in life that is more about process than product.  But I also know that a story’s last words are just as important, if not more so, than the first.  So I was inspired to catalog some lovely lines from the last pages of some of my favorite literary works:

“Reader, I married him.” -Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

“It is nothing to die; it is horrible not to live.” Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“The demons departed as my mind stood open before God, and once more I passed through the strait gate to set out along the narrow way in response to my mysterious call.  My new life in God’s service stretched before mel I knew there could be no turning back.  I could only go on in the absolute faith that one day His purpose would stand fully revealed, and in the light of that faith the darkness of my anxiety was extinguished.” -Susan Howatch, Glittering Images

But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.  He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Do not ask of a vision in a dream more than a vision in a dream can give.” -C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” -Revelation 22:1-5 (NIV)

For myself, then, and any wreaders who wish to come along (except DH, for whom I hereby issue a non-binding fiat of participation), a challenge: Write a last page of your journal, memoir, novel, script, or screenplay.  For my tabled Nanowrimo piece, I already have the last scene and have played it in my head multiple times when I needed some hope but have never committed it to paper/screen.  Partly because I couldn’t decide if I wanted it at the beginning as a frame, but mostly because finality terrifies me and I’m not sure I know how to end a story I’m still writing.  But it’s just for practice.  The deadline I’m setting for myself is one week… (DH, you can ask me for it at Mozart’s if I haven’t posted it by then.)  Any other takers?

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One thought on “Last Pages

  1. Anna says:

    Finishing diaries, such a scary thing! We both finished ours this week, oh man. Maybe that means something too =P

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