beginnings and endings

beginnings and endings

A Story by bob, small b. aka invs

written a few years ago. things have improved since then, but the basic concept still rings true to me.


Young people write songs about life being a circle. Joni Mitchell did when she was young. So did Harry Chapin. I don't think you'll find an older person comparing life to a circle. Life is beginnings and endings and the older you get, the more you see this because the endings come much quicker as you get older. Youth comes and goes. Childhood friends. Places we live. Relationships. Most simply move on, or we do. Some die. There is very little continuity to life. It's a series of events. My life at twenty has very little in common with my life in my 50s. I am very lucky in having a wife who's been with me throughout those decades. and a daughter. Those are the only common threads in what was the fabric of my life then and the fabric of my life now. The rest is endings and beginnings. I think perhaps life is much more like a quilt than a circle. A quilt made of random fragments of material all patched together. This fragment, perhaps a friend who came and went. This fragment my school years. This fragment my aspirations. Beginnings and endings.


Another year is almost gone. Another square in the quilt. A year saddled with problems yet filled with joy. Another ending. I face the next year with a little trepidation. There are problems to be solved. New trails to blaze, and I'm no adventurer. I prefer status quo, not change. I prefer continuity, not endings and beginnings. But my preferences have very little to do with real life. We play the hands we're dealt. The best i can do is hope for a decent hand... or bluff like hell if i get a bad one. Folding is not an option. I will not be the one creating an ending.


So I look back at the past year, breathe a sigh of relief that we made it, and turn toward the new beginning. Hoping for the best, contemplating the worst, expecting something in between. And if this sounds overly contemplative, forgive me. New beginnings scare me. and endings bother me more and more and more.


I wish you all peace and a happy new year.

© 2011 bob, small b. aka invs

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How fitting I am reading this today, on a day I feel rather lost and alone..
twenty years as a wife are no more and I wonder do I have the energy to be a partner again. Then the thought of that chair beside mine as I enter those aging years makes me numb with grief..
So we just keep waking up, and stepping forward.
I thank you for sharing these thoughts and perhaps helping me on the cobblestone path of life.

Very well written..

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


As with nearly everything of yours I've read, this just left me staring slack-jawed at this empty rectangle, wondering what if anything more need be said. The allusion to life-as-quilt, rather than life-as-skein was delightful--regrettable, my serger is about two bobbins light, and drops every third stitch on the other two! Yessirree, I DO know what old feels like; I've felt it since I was thirty!

Posted 8 Years Ago

Ah, I have just realised there is only one bob.
I get used to this social networking soon.

regards again.

Posted 9 Years Ago

I'm too much of a cynic to make a valid comment. Sorry. But I am happy to see things have improved for you since writing this piece. Yes, I remember when there were 365 days in most years and every day had 24 hours. Inflation and exchange rates seem to have eroded even time.
P.S. Reclaim your capital B damn it. Robert on the death certificate will be probably spelt entirely in capital letters anyway.

Posted 9 Years Ago

bob, small b. aka invs

9 Years Ago

maybe by the time i'm ready for the death certificate i'll be ready for the capital B again. i've re.. read more
Well me being a double Capricorn I can most certainly relate to the fear of new beginnings and might as well cut off an arm.. This touched my heart today and allowed me to journey along with you.. Knowing we're not alone on this crazy ride is key...x

Posted 9 Years Ago

Not sure where i stand in this time and age thing .. seems to me though that every period of time has its goods and bads and hate to add this but, also, swings and roundabouts! Age makes for wisdom, age makes for dreams .. we learn as we go along and surely we need to keep hold of dreams, try having them come true or make others that aren't quite so daring. Everyone has something happen that stops a body in its tracks that says, 'Hey, I used not to think twice about doing that' - there again, the same voice can turn around and whisper, 'You done it .. and at last!'

Now you have me flying, think I'll sit a while, read this over and over, make decisions, forget a few, start back, look forward .. and hope the new year is a better, wiser, calmer, more exciting, gentler, more powerful year for us all .. and more! Let's start fewer endings!

Posted 9 Years Ago

Hello! This piece is interesting to me because it almost feels as if it were written by two different authors, and I am not sure if this is intentional. The first paragraph reads somewhat like a lecture, and while that could be because of my own youth, at certain points it lacked conviction. It sounded resigned, which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that the remainder of the story sounded anything BUT resigned. Glancing at the original and revised posting dates, I almost wondered if, when you revised it last, you only revised the second half. If that is the case and this is an annual tradition of some sort (I am totally jumping to conclusions here), then that is a really unique and interesting thing to do! Also, if that is the case, your writing has improved over the past year... To which I would say, bravo!!

I suppose my point is that this piece was beautiful, but somewhat segmented for me. The complacency of the first paragraph clashed with the resistance to chance mentioned in the latter. But the honesty in the second half was riveting and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

On a simple technical note: I notices that, in the fifth sentence of the story, you mention getting older twice and for me, it came off as a little redundant. Overall, it was entertaining and a delight to read. Thank you for sharing, and I hope that this year holds nothing but promise for both your and your MC!


Posted 9 Years Ago

Thanks for this invs, from another in his fifties and edging too close to sixty. If life were like a circle, I would still be climbing mountains and jumping streams; seeking trout and wild strawberries and sex. Now I can only climb them in my imagination. Small consolation. But I've gained other things as the hormones and the musculature have waned; namely a sense of appreciation I think.

Yes... a quilt; a patchwork of love and experience. Well said, and no, folding is never an option. Happy New Year my friend.

Posted 9 Years Ago

You really touched me. I lost my husband three years ago and I really relate to what you are saying.

Posted 9 Years Ago

"This fragment my school years. This fragment my aspiration."

I think it needs a comma after fragment. Following on with the theme, many of your sentences were fragments: some in a good way, but I think the stuff after "another year is almost gone" is too choppy.

Regarding the phrase, "another year", it was a film by Mike Leigh that about a couple growing older that made heavy symbolic use of seasons, and I think that your essay made an interesting counter-argument.

There's a strange pessimism to the piece, evident in "the best I can do is hope for a decent hand" or how much your life has changed since your twenties. I'm not old, but I do believe in the circularity to some extent, at least as far as seasons go. In entering your autumnal years, you'll notice the constant variations, but also the things that remain the same -- about the world, about yourself. As someone still technically young who hasn't really done enough in his life, I take great comfort in that process. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Yes, beginnings and ends. When I was a teen I used to ache for each year older. Then I started to work and thought, "does this ever end?"

Now, I watch my son and love every hurdle he clears but sadly say goodbye to all the baby ways and toddles ways and now only have boy left. Soon he'll be a man and I'll be older yet.

Yes, I can feel the change and the endings now too.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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15 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on January 17, 2010
Last Updated on December 26, 2011


bob, small b. aka invs
bob, small b. aka invs


my name's bob. small 'b'. a hold-over from my e.e. cummings stage of writing. i just never went back to reclaim the capital B. or the capital letters to begin paragraphs and sentences. no significance.. more..