Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Endings

I like to know what happens.

When I get a new book, I always read the last 3 or 4 pages first, just to know how things are going to end. When I go into a movie, I like to know how it's going to end. Going into "The Sixth Sense", someone tried to ruin the movie for me, saying, "He's dead!" That made the movie so much better for me. Maybe that is precisely why I enjoy Gabriel García Márquez so much: his writing style includes always telling you how the story will end.

Do you know why?

Because what makes the story worthwhile is how it happens. How it gets to that point. What the characters do to make that happen.

I read a joke recently, about some guy not reading the Bible because he already knew how it ended: Jesus dies. Well, yes. He does. But the story about why he dies is fascinating. The Bible, from a literary point of view, is a magnificent work of art.

But then again, this comes from a person (me) who thinks Harry Potter is a brilliant masterpiece. You might not want to take book advice from me.

Or maybe, precisely because I find both books fascinating is that you need to take book advice from me. It's up to you...

But I not only want to know the ending of books and movies: I like to know how things will end in life. Such an exaggeration, no?

This morning, Honey made a joke about how attached the Germans are to the weather channel. (We are, too.) He said the Germans actually fix their lives around what www.wetter.com says (or whatever weather channel they tune in to). On Sunday, the Weatherman said it was going to snow today. Bah humbug, I thought to myself. It's Fall. It's November. Pff.

I knew this. I was warned. I was given my "ending". Happy ending, at that, because it's been five years since I last saw snow, in Korea, with Julie.

But as I said, it's not about what will happen. It's about how it happens.

And as I sat down to write this, by the window, next to the heater (as I always do), wearing too much clothes (as I always do), I looked out the window.

At first, it looked like rain in slow motion. Rain falls fast, in many little, tiny droplets. But this "rain", this was different. It was falling slower... almost as if dancing with the wind on the way down. And it was not tiny droplets, but rather big, fat chunks of frozen water droplets.

I realized, just then (just now, as I write this), that I had never seen snow begin. I have been snow fall; I've been in amazing snowfalls: my aunt Ofelia's wedding was during one of the greatest snowfalls the state of New York has ever seen. Korea also has great snowfalls (as I stood in the middle of the street, trying to eat snowflakes, an angry Korean woman scolded me--in Korean... apparently, Korea is so highly contaminated, that I was eating frozen dirt...).

But snow, baby snow, snow just learning how to dance with the wind, snow yet young enough to not amount to anything... wow. That, I had never seen before.

Of course I'm freezing. And yesterday, I had the brilliant idea of telling my student that I would go to his house, so that we could have the lesson in his house. And after the class, I have to go to the gym. And after the gym, I have to go grocery shopping. And after the groceries, I have to come back home and shower (that's another post...). And after that I have to go house-hunting with Honey. And after that we have a date with Harry Potter (his date is with Hermione, whatever). And after that we have to come home...

Life does not change because of a little snow. Life goes on.

But in my story, in my life, everything is changing now. Everything is different. Because although I was warned that it would snow, the experience of watching, in a front row seat, how snow is born... well, that has changed me forever.

For the first time, I will teach a lesson while snow falls. For the first time, I will ride my bike with snow (hopefully this will not be another post). For the first time, I will be in the gym watching the snow fall. I will shop while the snow is falling. I will be with Harry (and Honey and Hermione), but I will know that, outside, snow is falling. I will walk back home from the theater, holding Honey's hand, probably complaining and whining about how cold it is--but I will do all of this while snow is falling! Do you see what I mean?

Everything I do today, will be done for the first time with snow. The weatherman did not tell me that. He only said it would snow.

What I do with my life, with my snow, is my story to tell. And you already know my happy ending.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy your first snow fall. It is always a treat to see!