The Sense of an Ending – A Piece of Perfection…..

April 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post……

This is not a book review, it is about the thoughts a book prompted in me. That book is ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes. Fair to say I am not the only person who found this book to be a pure delight, it was the Man Booker Prize winner of 2011. The title is not misleading, there are no cut and dried answers with this novel. I will not disclose the plot, will say only that the book made me smile, sigh and think. One passage in particular touched me, I share it here.

‘But time . . . how time first grounds us and then confounds us. We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them. Time . . . give us enough time and our best-supported decisions will seem wobbly, our certainties whimsical.’

Brilliant words, I am sure we have all thought them in one form or another through our lives. Didn’t we all think we knew it all when we were eighteen? I considered myself wise beyond my years I am ashamed to say:) That is not to say that all my opinions have changed, I still believe that the answer to poverty is for people and Governments to work together. I still believe that mankind has it within him and her to do great good but too often it is easier to blink away the bad things and dwell only on the good. This may get you through the day but if we focus only on the good the bad will gain ground.

I wonder how much I have changed in the intervening years. I could flatter myself and say I am less self-obsessed but that is part of every human, it is how we process thoughts and outwardly display them that changes. I know my life needs affection and laughter, I think aging makes one very conscious of the need for support. When young we need that support to endorse our ‘rightness’, aging helps us understand that flexibility and compromise are not the enemy.

Words continue to be a constant for me, I have always read and it would be a hardship for me if I couldn’t. When I need to escape I find comfort in books, they take me elsewhere. I know the manners of Jane Austen, the wit of Philip Roth and John Irving, the history of Victor Hugo, the atmosphere of James Lee Burke. I am a reader of many books and many writers, I love to be surprised by words, it does me good to have my beliefs challenged so that I can ensure that my core has some substance, that I am not mere fluff and nonsense. Reading and conversation have helped form me from a smartass teen to, I hope, a grounded adult. I thank my lucky stars that my childhood ambition was not to be ‘famous’ as it is for so many young people today. What does that mean? Fame? Who wants public visibility for the sake of it? At eighteen I wnated to make a difference but wasn’t sure how. Today I still want to make a difference. This blog may help me do that, I am not always sure but will keep putting my words out there, this is the way I have chosen.

Would I change the decisions I made at eighteen? Some of them certainly. Does that mean I regret my decisions? I may wonder about them sometimes but they were and are my choices. Regrets will not change the here and now, actions do. So no, I do not regret but will use my memories to help me move along.

My thanks to Julian Barnes for such a novel, I hope you get to enjoy it as much as I did…..

Courtesy of Julian Barnes website -

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.


Entry filed under: Charity, Children, Donating, Giving, Life, Reading, wheniwas8, words, Writing. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Give Me a Break! Creative Writing? I Can Only Apologise….

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