Happily Ever After. This is a concept I don’t believe in. It’s evident in my poetry and even in the way I live my life. Sure, there is hope. There is hope that circumstances will change and life will get better. But these improvements are never permanent; there is always something more to work through. And I don’t say this to be a downer, but to be a realist.
I think Jeanne Duprau said it best in her book “The Diamond of Darkhold” from the “Books of Ember” series. This series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a community of people is re-discovering the life people lived pre-apocalypse. One of the ways they do this is through books. Towards the end of the story, the narrator gives us the point of view of one of the main characters: “Maybe there was no happily-ever-after, as in that book of Edward’s, but there was happiness sometimes, and she had it now, doing what she knew she was born for…” I’ve been thinking about this quote lately. I don’t know that there is a necessarily an ultimate happy ending because life is far too complex for a black-and-white solution like that. But there are definitely bright spots.
When I said that my non-belief in “happily ever after” is evident in my poetry, I mean that I don’t usually write about happy subjects. Poems are found in moments of tension, in friction. When I said my un-belief is evident in the way I live my life, I meant that I live for the bright spots. There will always be some difficulty to wade through and I do what I must to push through, as do most people. But there are moments of happiness and sometimes those moments turn into days of happiness. I’m talking here, specifically, about time with my friends. A bunch of us got together this weekend and it was a great time. There is nothing like hanging around with people who love you despite your weaknesses, who understand your quirky sense of humor, who rag on you to show affection….at least in my world. And I’m sure another bright spot will be Thanksgiving: time with family, rough-housing with cousins, catching up with relatives I haven’t seen in a while. Bright spots, moments of pure joy.
Perhaps this is why “happily ever after” is only in fairy tales. I know this has been said before, but it bears repeating: Adversity is needed to truly enjoy happiness. Without it, life would be one continuous happy moment….and that lack of variety sounds boring. Having said that, I know people’s bright moments look different. So, what are yours?
note on the pic: These are two of my bright spots — my friends (from the left) dee and mel