I don’t know what this is. Nostalgic reverie? A review of the season finale of Castle (spoiler alert, by the way)? An ode to uncertainty? Perhaps you’re best left to judge that. I’m not a good judge of my own words.
As I heard the words and saw the final images on the screen, which I know coldly meant the end of yet another season of yet another series of which I have grown quite fond, there was another edited program flashing through my mind which was simultaneously a bother and a pleasure. A show no one else will see for it is the one that plays in my mind constantly, whether I want it or not. The story of my life, which I guess, again coldly, I often view objectively as if it were yet another series of which I have grown quite fond. These were the words, said eloquently by the radiant Molly Quinn.
There is a universal truth we all have to face whether we want to or not. Everything eventually ends. As much as i’ve looked forward to this day, i’ve always disliked endings. Last day of summer. The final chapter of a great book. Parting ways with a close friend. But endings are inevitable. Leaves fall. You close the book. You say goodbye. Today is one of those days for us. Today we say goodbye to everything that was familiar. Everything that was comfortable. We’re moving on. But just because we’re leaving, and that hurts, there are some people who are so much a part of us they will be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground. Our north star. And the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us. Always.
These words will fail to capture what I was feeling, and why tears welled up in my eyes, not because I knew what was coming on this silly but adorable show called Castle (Kate was gonna run into Rick’s arms. What else could she do?), but because the words the writers of this series put into Molly Quinn’s mouth for Alexis Castle to say brought to stark realization events in my past, present and future which echo for me in those words.
There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we want to or not. Everything eventually ends.
This universe will some day end, but probably long before that our sun will have expanded into a red giant before crumbling into a dwarf star. And before that the Earth will become inhospitable for carbon based life but before that humanity will have long since become extinct. And before that everyone I will have ever known and loved will have died, and before that perhaps I will have died, but before that..
My father passed away in 1998, and back then I was still a Believer. In fact I felt his soul with me during his wake. I now know that was my mind playing tricks on me, but it was comforting and helped me through a rough time. I personally threw his ashes into the forest as he requested. The wind caught me a few times and on at least one occasion, I inadvertently inhaled my father’s ashes. My father’s life had ended, but his remains would mingle with this forest. The atoms that comprised who he was were going to live on, and a few of them even made their way into me. Who knows? Maybe a couple of them are still rattling around inside me.
October 1998 was when Dad passed away. Seems like a lifetime ago, now. I have not returned to those trees to visit him. I don’t have to. I remember them better than they probably are today. I can always go back there in my mind. I know now his soul isn’t hovering over my shoulder, but my memories of him linger and so long as I remember him, in some strange way he still lives. My sister called me not long ago, and gave me some sad news about my mother. I do not wish to dwell on the details here, but there is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we want to or not. Everything eventually ends.
Someday, some people I love are going to have that conversation about me. I won’t know it when it happens probably, but they’ll know I’m dying, or that I’ve already died, and they will …make arrangements. They will mark my passing. I don’t wish to sound maudlin. I’m not trying to bring you down. I’d prefer you be optimistic about this. I’m trying to be very up front and matter of fact about all this and I don’t want you to get all negative on me.
I’d rather you guys throw a party, when I’m done. When it happens. After I’m gone. I don’t subscribe much to mourning. I like laughter with my tears. That’s just me. Not everyone shares my sensibilities. Try to enjoy yourself that day, if you can. Shouldn’t be too hard.
There are times when we must say goodbye to everything that was familiar and comfortable. We move on, whether we like it or not, but there are some people who are so much a part of us they will be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground. Our north star. Our guiding light. The small clear voices in our hearts that will always be with us.
When I heard Molly Quinn recite those words as her character on Castle, the film that superimposed itself in my head was two lives flashing before my eyes. The lives of my mother and my father. The changes they witnessed, at least the ones I witnessed with them. They’ve both lived good lives.. so far as I can tell.
I enjoy simple theater and grandiose extravaganzas. I enjoy intimate stories and elaborate blockbusters. I have a wide eclectic taste when it comes to entertainment, but what I guess I enjoy more than anything is story telling that somehow manages to echo whatever’s going on in my head. What I can’t articulate to others or understand inside myself. There are things inside my head far too deep for me to comfortably fathom, and yet I’m also pretty shallow and obvious. When I hear sentiments outside of me that echo whatever’s inside me, it brings me joy in a way I can’t explain and perhaps don’t want to dissect too much, cuz sometimes I really shouldn’t dissect it. Sometimes I should just bow to the absurd.
Cuz it’s scary. It was scary in 1998 and it’s scary now, and it’s scary when change of any kind happens even the small changes but the only constant in the universe is change and you’d think I’d be used to it by now. I’m not. No one is. Even fictional characters like Alexis Castle portrayed by Molly Quinn. No one is used to change.
We’re moving right now and we can’t feel it but if somehow we could that wouldn’t necessarily make life more bearable. In fact it’d make life more difficult. It’s best we can’t feel the Earth spinning, revolving around the sun, which is revolving around the center of this galaxy, and moving outward as part of an expanding universe. That’s a lot of relative movement we take for granted cuz we really don’t have much of a choice.
Change is a constant. Its scary. That’s not a bad thing. Keeps us on our toes. I may or may not recognize the tv series Castle when it kicks into high gear next season. The changes being hinted at may take us away from New York. I hope so. I think the writers of Castle have said all they really can say in terms of a police procedural. Sometimes when a series leaves its creature comforts and tries to expand its horizons, the results upset their audience too much. I think a change would be welcomed. I hope so.
Or perhaps I will recognize Castle when it returns and somehow despite hints at dramatic change, after the season premiere we’ll be right back where we were before. I hope not, but I’ll welcome that too if it happens. The only constant is change, and sometimes that change is going back to what was before.
However, reality doesn’t ever really let us go back home again. The home of my childhood is gone, and yet it still resides inside my memories and emotions. I find it intriguing that sometimes I need a silly tv series to remind me of that. I guess we can have our cake and eat it too, every now and then. At least for awhile, until the next change. Batten down the hatches. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.