The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Next Chapter

When does one chapter end and the next one begin? I suspect I was probably taught this in high school English. I may have missed school that day. I enjoy reading novels. It is interesting to note how different authors utilize various patterns when it comes to their writing. James Patterson keeps his chapters very short. Two, sometimes three pages. Someone like Robert Ludlum, on the other hand, writes long, drawn out chapters. Each to his own.

Speaking of writers and English, do you realize that Shakespeare had a working vocabulary of 54,000 words? Not sure if that means anything to anyone till you hear the next fact. The average American, and I suspect this applies to Canadians as well, has a working vocabulary of only 3,000 words. Wow. What a difference. Perhaps that explains why I never could get into Shakespeare. "Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry". Like really. What does that mean? Although when I read it a number of times I think I get the drift. There is a whole new topic there.

Life is a book with many chapters. I suppose, depending on experiences, chapters will be of varying lengths. There may or may not be consistency to the chapters as life unfolds. Some chapters may be filled with happy experiences. Some chapters, perhaps, will relate sadness. But whatever the case, chapters are written. Many times we wish for a new chapter to begin. We get tired of what we are dealing with. We wish for renewal. Sometimes when I would commiserate about life and wish for a new chapter I would be reminded not to wish away my life. Other times I want time to stop. I enjoy the moment and don’t want it to pass.

The problem arises when we finish a chapter but, instead of starting a new one, we keep rereading the last one. Truth be told, I find myself, on occasion, going back numerous chapters. It is virtually impossible beginning the next chapter as long as we dwell on the last one. I find myself doing that too often. Dwell on the past. Usually it is not because the past had something positive about it. Rather, I dwell on negative stuff. Stuff that upset me and keeps upsetting me. And the more I dwell on the past the more the future becomes over whelming. Interesting how that happens.

So the challenge becomes to move on to the next chapter. Focus your energies, focus your desires, focus your everything on the here and now. Become part of the present. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy what life has to offer. And when life offers us something we do not like, deal with it, fix it and move on. Make the negative experiences short chapters. Because when you really think about it what is the use in re-reading the last chapter?

Talking to a friend the other day, and he is an academic, he was telling me about a book he was reading. He said that he had not been able to become engaged in the book reading the first chapter. So instead of tossing the book, which I have done, he jumped to chapter two. Found out that the book was actually enjoyable. What a novel idea. (no pun intended) I know that in life this may not be a reality. We need to finish one chapter before we go on. But, perhaps, we can wrap up the bad ones, be innovative in finding a conclusion and move on to the next. Make it a good one.

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