I was sitting in Mass this week and like a headline or advertising slogan, the words, "There are no happy endings in this life except dying in a state of grace," popped into me, clear and crisp and loud as if someone had said them...
I say "popped into me" rather than the more usual "popped into my head" because... well, because I didn't actually think them, I just took them, or rather they took me.
Okay, a bit verbose for either headline, slogan or aphorism, but there it was.
a lot of too much television, and a number of my favorites are
I have come to terms with the fact that I will never appear on the Letterman show introduced as, xxxx, currently xxx-ing at xxxx and one fabulous babe, while Paul and CBS Orchestra played the theme from Peter Gunn. (Yes, that specifically was one dream of mine. Embarrassing, no?)
Person of Interest, (a shockingly pro-life while at the same time shockingly violent drama,) had a season finale that threatens to leave the regular cast diminished by at least one or two come fall - I will stop watching, if what I would call the worst happens.
Mad Men is teasing its viewers with hints of then subverted closure for its major characters, and while at first I wanted at least some "happily ever afters," I realized that the show, for whatever unrealistic conceits it has employed over the years, is in many ways too naturalistic for that.
Things don't come to an end in this life, certainly not to happy ends.
They drift into other things.
Even when all seems settled, and perfect - like resolution in music, ah we're all here, got through that safely, all have what we want, sit down for a breather, things are settled --
It isn't true.
It just isn't true, things are never like that, life is never like that.
Even if the best possible outcome seems to have been arrived at, life is a process of death.
What awaits us but decay and diminution?
It's Mothers' Day weekend, and I am less than cheerful, not long ago thought we had arrived at a point where things were accomplished, and we would enjoy, and my Mother would enjoy, as Laura Ingalls Wilder put it, these happy, golden years.
(When I was in first grade, and devouring that series after being promoted to access to the Big Part of the school library, I hated getting to that, both because it seemed like an unwanted end to a pleasure and because "golden years" seemed like something bathed in a sickly light, like the front of Chicago's cathedral's nave... I digress.)
It seemed as if our lives had reached a plateau that we could at least enjoy for a few years, but no.
How quickly things fall apart.
Forget a Happy Ending, I didn't even think we got a fair share of the Happy Middle.
But that is life.
Or rather, that is this life.
The happy ending, if it is to be had, is only the beatific vision, and I will learn to stop thinking and saying, it's not fair.
Fair will come.
p.s. A few years ago, thanks to a reaction from someone to a sitcom title, a someone who is usually cheerfully raunchy and foul mouthed in his humour, I learned that there is another, perhaps nowadays more common meaning to the title of this post than that I intended.
Don't care, I will gaily use it, I refuse to cede another phrase or word to the Culture of Filth.