How It Ends
"How does it all start?" she wanted to know.
"With a whisper," he told her. "That crescendoes into a conversation about adventure, possibility, and risk."
"How does it end?" she asked.
I'm mesmerized by this image of an endling, something pointed out by kottke.org earlier.
An endling is the last of its species. The final generation. The final thing. It's over after that.
I think there is a great need for many of us to know how something ends before we're willing to step out on a journey. And while some of this is pure practicality ("Are we there yet?"), a lot of it is simply unknowable apprehension. Part of the way we travel through life is not knowing how things end, if they'll end, and when they'll end. It can be agonizing. But it's also part of moving forward. We walk into a great unknown, armed only with hope for the best.
A very meaningful community is coming to and end for me this week. For three years running, I've been attending a fitness boot camp three days a week at 6 AM. I've made friends there, been challenged there, helped others there, and been changed there.
The community is ending because our trainer is stepping out into the world of entrepreneurship. Good for him. He's ready, and he'll be successful.
It makes it no less easy for me to step away, of course. I'll be on the lookout for a new community soon. Part of me doesn't even want to search, wants to kick and scream and long for the "good ole days." (Are there "good ole days" when you're cranking through 100 burpees? Probably not.)
But it's over. Class on Wednesday was an endling, and I took a picture.
If you had been able to tell me back in August of 2011 that this was going to be how it ended, would I have set out on this pathway?
Absolutely. That's the only way we can move forward in this life if we hope to have a ride worth going on: completely and absolutely forward, no matter when or how the ending comes.
Otherwise, we'll simply stay on the sidelines, afraid of the end. And when we're afraid of the end, we'll never even get to start.