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In stories, there is the big “The End”. There is a final page listed at the end of the index in the table of contents. There is a last rustle, a final tune. The closing curtain, the roll call of credits in a movie.

Closure is important for all the reasons we don’t want to admit. As writers, we might celebrate the end of a first draft in a couple of ways. A sigh of relief. Frustration at the prospect of the rewrite. Tears.

But this isn’t a story. Life begins and ends “in medias res”, in the midst of the action. And during a global pandemic, it feels that things have come to an awkward, screeching halt where everything and anything has become a plot point.

Illness. Violence. A swarm of murder hornets. Promises of dystopia, utopia, or something beyond even our imaginations. The author of all these catastrophes seems to paint with a dramatic, theatrical brush, don’t they?

This is life, and life isn’t as the stories go. It would be foolhardy to equate fact with fiction and fiction with fact, so I can’t call this situation anything near that of a story. But, I guess my point is this.

We are in the center of the great, ambiguous, uncertain MIDDLE of the story. The place where the plot thickens and the END seems nowhere in sight. Where we left the initial introductions of the beginning so far behind that we can hardly remember other characters’ or events’ names within it. Barely, just barely, we can find ourselves.

It is during this, this lack of closure… of fears. Anxieties. The absolute fear of the unknown that I write this.

You are important. Amazingly important. In fact, you are the main character, no matter how much you joke otherwise. You are the main character of your own life, your story. Your narrative might seem terrifying, the author’s motives unclear, if the author is there at all.

But there is great power and potential for kindness and greatness inside you. For you are made of words and memories and stories in bone and skin.

I want to see you live that beautiful story, dear reader.

Own it.

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