Tag Archives: farewell

1500. Reaching the pinnacle

 

Bruce hadn’t achieved much in his life. There was one thing, however, he could do: he could be the first in the history of the world to climb one particular peak of the local mountain range. Reaching the top of this peak had been an insurmountable problem for many who had attempted it. Although few had died in the attempt, no one had arrived where apparently “no human had ever trod before”.

It wasn’t the most earth-shattering thing to do, but Bruce would attempt it come what may. At least to himself he would achieve something of note: a legend in his own mind.

He set out.

After many strenuous days, after falling rocks and slippery shingle slides, after warm days and freezing nights, after scratches and insect bites, after encountering inquisitive tourist parties and aspiring solo mountaineers, he had only a few feet left to go. He reached up to the last crevice on the mountain peak to pull himself up to the top. And…

… he did! He did it! “At last!” he said, “at last I have arrived where no human had ever trod before!” The view wasn’t as spectacular has he had imagined. And scattered about were a couple of squashed coke cans and some cigarette butts.

Post Script:

Dear Reader,

This is the 1500th story on this blog, and the final posting! I would like to end on a personal note:

Back in 1986 I was studying for a degree in a relatively famous institution in Boston, Massachusetts. It was possibly the most flamboyantly happy time of my life. I was very popular! North America was big, and I came from a tiny island at the bottom of the globe. I revelled in the vastness of it all, and delighted in the generosity and openness of Americans!

When I came back to New Zealand, in the first month I received over two hundred letters. This was the days before the media revolution. I began to answer the letters, starting with the ones from people that I didn’t have a clue who they were! The people I was closest to could wait. The people I didn’t know answered. I replied to them again. The people I knew the best waited. And waited. And in the end, all drifted away.

These days I would not know who is dead and who is alive. These people are memories, but no longer personal friends. This seems to be the friendship cycle in my life.

For the past 1500 stories – and some music and poems as well – I have enjoyed the company of many – some for a long long time. I would like to mention names but won’t! Most I don’t know much about. Have you family? Where do you live? In many cases I’m not sure I even know your real name. That’s the strangeness of friends on the blogs! Some I have offended, and I’m sorry.

Thank you to all who walked all or part of the way with me (those of you who are still alive!) I have enjoyed the privilege of your company. I suspect there are other adventures waiting for me. I hope so.

I sometimes thought (in highfalutin moments) that some people (maybe creative-writing teachers) might like to use these stories as “starters” for their pupils to extend to new and exciting conclusions. There are enough weekly starters to last roughly 38 years before a teacher need begin to repeat! (Boring bloody teacher, repeating stuff after 38 years).

I wish you every possible wonderful thing for always.

Bruce

1392. The ship sets sail!

The ship sets sail! Of course, it didn’t have sails; it was a modern ship, but the expression from sailing days remained.

Curtis and Connie waved farewell to their daughter, Isabella. She had a terrible fear of flying and had won a huge scholarship to study overseas at a prestigious university. You’ve no idea how difficult it is these days to book a cabin on a ship that’s not simply a cruise liner.

And so they hugged and Isabella walked up the gangway, waving goodbye and blowing kisses. It was sad, but so exciting! The start of a profoundly wonderful adventure!

She would write, but she never came back. They never saw her again.

1000. The gate

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Minnie stood at the doorway. She said farewell to her brother. It was for the last time. He was to be gone; forever. They hugged. He moved away.

He walked down the garden path and never turned back. His footfalls crunched on the path’s gravel. There were flowers on either side. Somewhere a bird sang.

He turned a corner. His footfalls faded.

Minnie heard the gate latch open.

She heard the gate click shut.

928. Off to the war!

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(Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand).

Mrs W. Picton was hostess on Saturday evening at a delightful farewell dance for soldiers off to the war. Eleven of the soldiers farewelled were her grandsons. What a proud moment for the family!

A large number of town and country visitors met and enjoyed the hospitality of the Picton Estate. Dancing took place in the billiards room, which was artistically decorated for the occasion, and supper was served in the dining-room during an interval in the dancing.

Miss Macdonald’s orchestra supplied the latest dance music.

Mrs Picton wore a handsome gown of electric blue charmeuse, embroidered in beads in harmonious colours. She was assisted in her duties as hostess by her two daughters, Miss Picton and Miss Barbara Picton. A son and his wife, Mr and Mrs Ralph Picton, who are in town for the races, were also present.

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Her youngest son and ten of her grandsons never returned from war.

908. Felicity’s farewell

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Felicity had cancer and was in hospital. Dying. She was in America. Her daughter was with her. Her son, who lived in Australia, was coming over.

For two weeks her son stayed and visited every day. Then he had to go back to Australia because of family and work commitments. He came to say goodbye. He left for Australia.

O the grief… Felicity… how she wished she was dead. How she wished she was dead.