Ralph Waldo Emerson said that people often travel not for love of new experiences or learning about new things, but instead, to escape. There is some truth to what Ralph wrote. Some people think that maybe that certain “it” is out there somewhere when they can’t find it here. They try the travel thing for a while and find that T.S. Eliot’s Shadow is over there, too.
“Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long”
So these travelers move around from place to place.
When no place is home.
When no place brings peace.
When no place is where they belong because they belong nowhere.
They try to find an answer to that ubiquitous question Where is my happy ending? Sage words from Ralph and Thomas Sterns and all those other writers provide no answer, or none that the travelers can understand.
So one day, the Universe – in its infinite wisdom and mercy – sends them a lifeline. They don’t have to travel to escape the Shadow. They don’t have to crawl out of the Hole. A hand lifts them out effortlessly.
That lifeline is called a friend.
She tells them that their happy ending could be right in front of them. They just can’t see it. And she tells them to listen to their soul because it knows the answer already. They just don’t have enough confidence in themselves to trust that voice. They let all the other chatter in their head drown out their own voice. She tells them to listen. She makes them listen.
When these travelers accept this lifeline from the Universe, the sun halts at midday, where the Shadow has no place to hide. All is quiet, so quiet that they can finally hear. They finally know.
Happy endings come in bits and pieces because the end of one story is only the beginning of another.