Friday, 30 November 2012

Happy Endings

When I was at school my favourite activity was writing stories but we were often given very uninspiring titles to work with. One that has stuck in my mind, down through the years is An Unfortunate Accident Is Narrowly Averted. It made me groan at the time but thinking about it now, I have to admit that it does sum up the plot of an awful lot of novels.

At least it suggested a happy ending. I've always preferred writing stories that end without blood on the carpet and with all the cast still intact. The trouble is, stories often refuse to turn out this way because the characters insist on making up their own minds about what they do. No matter how you struggle to keep them from harm, they simply will not cooperate.

This is as true in life as it is in books. I have some really good friends who seem to spend enormous amounts of energy sabotaging their own contentment. One or two of them even realise they do it; they just can't seem to help themselves.

My grandson has recently begun fictionalising his world. He will look up brightly and say, 'Let's go to the park, said Mummy' or 'Let's go to the café and have some hot chocolate, said Daddy'. It's not just his mother and father who feature in these optimistic little vignettes. His four month old sister might suggest that they go to the library or his Grandpa (me) might suddenly suggest that he has a biscuit. There is absolutely no limit to the happy endings of these micro narratives.

More than anything else my wish for him, and for my other grandchildren, is that this is the way it stays, that he will always be the hero of stories that end happily – even if it can't be hot chocolate and biscuits all the way through.

7 comments:

Sue Hyams said...

How lovely. I must admit that I too like a happy ending, or at the very least a cautiously optimistic one. But I certainly wish your grandson a life of hot chocolate and biscuits!

Sue Hyams said...

How lovely. I must admit that I too like a happy ending, or at the very least a cautiously optimistic one. But I certainly wish your grandson a life of hot chocolate and biscuits!

Brian Keaney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Derek said...

A lovely little piece that reminds us of the value of positivity and a creative imagination. When you look around at the world the media portrays, it's more important than ever to choose the positive option.

Brian Keaney said...

Thank you Sue and Derek. Very nice to hear from you both.

Paul said...

Happy New Year, Brian!

Brian Keaney said...

Thank you, very much, Paul. Happy New Year to you, too!