22 January 2011

Is it about the journey or is it about the end?

Last night, my family and I watched Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium.  I hadn't seen it before but from what I'd heard, it was something that was right up my alley.  And, after watching it, I was glad to find that I hadn't been mistaken.  I thought it was a beautiful, wondrous story and one that I want to own.

When Rich and I went to bed last night, we started talking about the movie.  He said he'd been slightly unsatisfied by the ending.  He felt that it cut off too quickly and that there was no real denouement to the story.  He was also a little bothered by the fact that there was no real tension in the story.  As he pointed out, the reason that they added the whole Slugworth bit to the Willy Wonka movie was because there was no real challenge to Charlie throughout it.  He got the Golden Ticket, went to the factory, was a good boy and got the factory because of it.  And that was it.  He also pointed out that we all knew, because of the kind of story that it was, how things would turn out in the end.  And without the tension in there somewhere, it makes the story lacking.

But that's not how I feel about stories.  For me, a story with a good journey is just as good as a story that has a lot of action or questions regarding what people are going to decide.  Because what is important is the journey that is taken.  It's how you get there more than where you end up.  I'll admit it, I'm an unabashed end of the book reader.  Usually about half way through a book, I'll find myself turning toward the end of the book to see what the end is going to be.  And it doesn't ruin it for me in the least.  Because I don't know HOW they're going to get there.  And I'm curious enough to find out what path they take to get there.

And, as I was writing this, I realized that also fits my view on fate vs free will.  I'm a firm believer that there are certain parts of our lives that are destined to happen - who we fall in love with, who influence us in our lives, certain things that happen to us that help shape us.  But the path we take to get there, that's what is up to us.  We have the choice whether we're going to take a job across the country or stay where we are.  If we're eventually supposed to start our own business selling unusual writings to scholars, then it will happen regardless of which job we take.  It's just a matter of when it happens.  Because little things in our lives will eventually steer us toward them.  And it's the journey that we take that we learn from. It took me a long time to find Rich.  I went through several bad relationships before I met him.  And those relationships taught me a lot, both about myself and about relationships. Who knows?  If I had taken time to look at more colleges when I was in High School, I may have found Drew University and met Rich through that.  Anything is possible.

I'm curious about my readers views.  Are you about the journey or the end of the journey?  Which is more important to you?