For the next four days I can be located in the following places: In a lounge chair in my backyard. Curled up in bed. At a table outside of Starbucks. Reading. Four great novels in five days.
But here lies the problem: I am meeting all these wonderful characters and I am seeing them mingle with one another on the pages and instead of being entranced I am bitter. Yes, bitter. I literally want to take out a black Sharpie and cross out a few crucial lines from their interactions to spite them and mess up their story. Because they have something I don’t have right now: Clarity. Understanding. Reason.
In almost every work of literature and with every character the protagonist encounters, we come to understand, whether in first meeting them or after their name has been scattered across hundreds of pages, what their purpose was.
They were created to be a lover, an enemy, a role model, a friend or quite possibly a passerby. But whatever the role they played we learn in reading that they served an intricate purpose in their presence. Or else the author would have never presented the character to us in the first place.
The author leaves us the clues, dropped in between the lines, in order to allow us to answer the big question: why? We understand why he walked into the coffee shop to see her sitting there, nose in a book. We figure out why he pushed her harder than anyone she had ever met. We learn why she left home, never to return, after what he did to her.
In my own life I am beginning to ask this question: Why do we meet certain people? What purpose to they serve? I guess it is a matter of believing with all of your heart that each person does serve a purpose, that they come into your life for a reason. A Reason That Is Sometimes Obvious. A Reason That Is Sometimes Unclear.Perhaps it is a reason that we are not ready for just yet, one that is waiting to reveal itself to us at a more fitting time.
But I am like that cranky child in the toy store who often makes a guest appearance in my posts… Cranky child would say, “I want to know now! NOW! NOW! NOW!”
I would really love to meet the person who once said “Everything happens for a reason” and proceed to grill them on every encounter they have had in their life. Of course I would not literally interrogate the innocent creator of this quotation, but I think sometimes its (for lack of a better word, or the fact that this one is begging to be put in this sentence) hard to just roll with the punches or hang tight for the reason behind meeting someone. Someone who changes our life. Someone who makes us think a different way. Someone who makes us feel like maybe we need a new color palette for the pictures we paint because the other ones look dull now.
It is even harder when we meet someone and we must be faced with the reality that they were never meant to stay in our storyline. Yes, they may stay in our hearts. Yes, we may think of them and recall a thousand and one memories. But sometimes their name is not the one that was made to come up in every single one of our sentences.
Trust. It is the lesson of the day. I could very easily chalk the lesson up to be one on bitterness, resentment, confusion or sadness. But I think trust fits better. We need to trust ourselves and trust in whatever higher power we believe in that one day we will see the reason. One day we will stop dead in our tracks, encompassed in a moment of reflection, and we will be able to say, “Now I understand.”
Until that point, let’s not wrack our brains over trying to understand or find an answer to the question: why. We will get nowhere. Fast. We simply must wake up and live each day and seek to learn from one another… just as we learn from the characters in our books. Perhaps they already got the answer to their questions… but their stories also have found their ending.
Our book is still wide open and we are mid sentence.