Finishing The Story

I’m just so tired.  I’m tired of remembering it that way. Aren’t you tired too?

Now we all have our sad tales, but don’t you want to finish the story, let it all go and have a life that isn’t dictated by the past?

Life is a harsh sentence to lay down for yourself.

Those we love can be redeemed, maybe not in life, but in imagination because that’s what we storytellers do.

We restore order with imagination.

We instill hope, again and again and again.

Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks (Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith)

This is the turning speech in that film, the one where Disney convinces PL Travers to let him work his magic on her story.  After this speech, she wears brighter colours and writes again.

I’m struck by the phrase “finish the story.”

It’s very hard to finish a story if you still see yourself as being in that story, if you still see that story as acting upon you.

The Disney estate and the Disney company produced Saving Mr Banks in part to control the image of Walt Disney, to show him as human again.

There is no way they could have done this film, this story while Disney was alive.  Then, the story wasn’t finished, couldn’t be let go of.  Order couldn’t be restored by imagination, because the story was still playing out in all of its influences and complexity.

We need distance and context to finish stories.

My father was in my dreams last night.    A friend is going through challenges with her dad; Tuesday he was operated on for Bladder Cancer and Thursday he was back in the ER.   I offered to go and help, but she said that they need to do this together, and that of all people, I should understand.

I do, of course.  It was an intense decade for me.

For that matter, it’s been an intense life for me.

I have the sense that I need to be able to write stories that I can finish, stories with some order, resolution and hope.

But my stories, well, they certainly don’t feel finished.

And that leaves me in the thick of them, all messy and unresolved.