[image description: A very tall white-haired fellow in a grey suit with black shoes sits on a throne of books, with an open tome resting on the leg he’s crossed over his knee. He is bearded but – like Abraham Lincoln – has no mustache.
He is haloed in a light violet light and looks up from his book in an expectant manner. Text reads, “262 LONG HAL – SMALL GOD OF FINISHED PROJECTS”]
Beginnings are easy. Everything begins.
Endings, though—those are hard. Seeing something small and fragile from conception to execution can be the next best thing to impossible. The world changes while you work, you see. That idea that seemed so brilliant a hundred thousand years ago is played-out and dull now, or you get bored, or Netflix releases a show that has just enough superficial similarities that you know you’ll never be able to convince anyone you didn’t rip off your whole beautiful nightmare from someone else’s dream.
Middles, though—middles are the worst of all. People get lost in middles, never to be seen again. people wander into the swamps and snarls of the undefined center and sink into the muck. The road between inspiration and completion is littered with the bones of those who never escaped the middle.
He comes after you’ve made your beginning, and no one sees him arrive; you just look up at some point and he’s there, walking beside you, eyes on the horizon. As long as you press forward, he presses forward with you, and if you sink into the swamp, he won’t save you, but he will grieve. He grieves for all the ones who fall along the way.
And if you make it to the ending with him, if you get there, he will take the dream you have walked into the world in his long-fingered hands, and he will smile at you, and he will tell you your creation is safe with him. If you’ve been a good companion, traveled well, enjoyed the road, he may tell you where Anna is waiting. Because she’s always waiting, and he has always loved her, fickle, brilliant creature that she is. They are two sides of the same coin, morning and night, and they are never once together, and they have never been apart.
Long Hal has to rank up there as one of my favorites. I hope he never leaves my side….
We hope so too!