You know that scene near the end of The Lord of the Rings, when Frodo is saying goodbye to Sam, he hands him the book that was started by Bilbo as A Hobbits Tale, then expanded by Frodo to include the quest for the ring, and he says, “The last pages are for you, Sam”?
And, you know that scene near the end of Amadeus, when Mozart is on his death bed, desperate to complete his requiem, Salieri — who spent the whole movie in crazed envy of Wolfgang — is there and offers to help him complete the work, which he does, scribbling away with his quill while the sweaty near-corpse composes, in his head, on the spot, until he just slips away and dies?
Anyway, one night Laurel was helping me organize the writings that make up this scrapbook of sorts, somehow the idea came up to leave the work unfinished on purpose, and that Laurel herself would complete it with an epilogue when I was gone, and though it might sound rather morbid, I instantly LOVED the idea, got all excited, and even started laughing at the thought of those two movie scenes, and I got Laurel laughing with the suggestion that she serve as the Salieri to my Mozart and the Sam to my Frodo!
Honestly, I just don’t know how else to wrap up. This is decidedly not a story with a tidy narrative arc with classic dramatic structure. There is some rising and falling action, some minor climaxes and catharses, but, while the mushroom journey was deeply meaningful and incredibly helpful for a while, it was not a permanent fix for my existential crisis, no cure for ALS came along, and I still have never experienced the Acceptance stage of grief.
But, I wear the guitar and the owl on my body, I’m taking comfort in the company of family and friends for as long as I can, and now I get to rest in the knowledge that I’m leaving behind a collection of writings that wrestled with all of this, a record of the fact that I’d been here, and knowing that allows me to shuffle off this mortal coil in peace.
The Owl Journal
Ok, so I’m not done writing altogether!
I’ve added a blog to this website, which I’m calling The Owl Journal, and I’ll be posting new scraps of writing there for as long as I can.
Thanks for reading!