Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Thrill of the Unknown

I have a confession to make. In making this confession I will also be implicating my wife so consider this a confession on her behalf as well. I confess that I love the "Harry Potter" book series and movies. I think the books are very well written and although the movies miss large portions of the storyline, they are well done and adequately entertaining.

As I have been reading through the books I have told my wife that I think she would like them and she should try reading them. The problem is that she made a New Year's Resolution to finish scrapbooking our youngest son's first year as well as get caught up scrapbooking on our past few vacations. As part of her resolution, she said she would not get involved in any books until she completed these things. I am happy to say that she did complete most of our youngest son's baby book. Nevermind the fact that we had to make things up about him and choose pictures that may or may not accurately represent what was really happening the first year. (History is what those who write it down say it is.... right?)

Anyway, she pretty much completed our son's book but she finally gave in and decided to "just read the first book in the Harry Potter series". I'm not telling on her or anything but this morning I saw book six waiting to be returned to the library which means "just the first book" must mean something much more to her.

The point of this post is not to let you know that she went ahead and read all of the books already, but to tell you why she did. It is because she hates suspense. She actually reads the first chapter of a book, then the last chapter, then the first few paragraphs of all the other chapters, and then she reads the book in its proper order. She has to know how it ends before she can put herself through the process of hearing the entire story. It is like this for birthdays, Christmas, and even pregnancy. She wants to know what gifts are coming, what surprise is awaiting, and what that child will be like before he actually comes.

This completely ruins it for me. I don't want to know. I want to wait until the last minute before the big surprise. I loved getting to the end of Sixth Sense without knowing Bruce Willis is dead (sorry if you haven't seen that movie yet). I loved the shock I felt when I found out that Nemo really was still alive and that he would be reunited with his dad. I love going places without any idea of what might happen there. I love reading books and accepting each twist along the way.

I think that is also why I love things like skydiving, speed skiing, and other dangerous sports. I love the thrill of not being sure what the end will be. The greatest thrill in skydiving is those few seconds before you know your parachute will open successfully and that you will gracefully float to earth. The thrill of not being sure if you will live another moment is as good as it gets. This may seem twisted to some of you but I never claimed to be untwisted. I guess there really is no deep truth hidden in the words of this post but maybe some of this is what Jesus spoke about when he said, "Don't worry about tomorrow".

Ultimately, the unknown is everywhere and we often just have to accept it as it comes. For some of us that is the whole thrill of life, for the others I guess you have no other choice... sorry. (By the way, I haven't read book six yet so please don't tell me how it ends.)

3 comments:

Mike said...

So, your wife reads the book 1 1/2 times just so she doesn't get a suprize? That is a lot of work.

Herobill said...

She actually reads the first chapter of a book, then the last chapter, then the first few paragraphs of all the other chapters, and then she reads the book in its proper order. She has to know how it ends before she can put herself through the process of hearing the entire story.

Wow! I do something very similar! Please tell her she is not so odd!

I always read the first page or three, then flip to the very last page and skim the last chapter from back to front. (This is usually non-fiction.) If the author's conculsion is any good, then I often skim backwards through each chapter. If I'm still impressed or intrigued at that point, I'll go back through it start to finish.

But in fiction, I usually read the last page first. Then skim the first half, skip the third quarter, and hurry to the ending. (I only stop skimming when the narrative truly arrests me.)

I would have been bored stiff during "The Sixth Sense" unless someone had already spoiled it for me. (I had to beg several people to do so.)

It's watching the magic at work that I most enjoy. ;)

Ryan said...

I will make sure she knows that she is not alone. - Thanks