At the midpoint of the current chapter there is a pause to stop in the past going back to what was, to where that place exists, to facing the past by speaking to the people there. Some characters are still there living as they had been and diminished by the powerlessness they submit to in a world where there is no room for exploration, others have been ignited by recognising the limits to push beyond and are ready to shrug off identities that no longer serve like heavy winter coats on a summer’s day. New characters have appeared here also, and when the protagonist meets them they are able to see more clearly who they were compared to who they have become, and the bullet they have dodged by moving on – although I am writing about a time when no bullets existed so, of course this metaphor will not apply within the novel itself.
A sense of letting go, getting on with it and moving on accompanies a path of exploration into an unknown that previously had been so unknowable that it was inconceivable. This tangent into an unrealised reality has revealed an aspect of the protagonist’s character that provides comfort and an acceptance of constant change within the self and the world around them. Old structures have been uprooted in the recognition of this inner shift, stories of identity have been let go and depth of self has been recognised allowing for a sense of freedom rather than being bogged down by constraints that no longer serve any purpose. The change in the protagonist is recognisable by other characters who want to inhabit that change for themselves but cannot because they must seek their own change, so must seek out their own true character.
There’s different kinds of epiphanies, big ones are most notable but they also come as smaller moments that ultimately have a big affect on the individual. The protagonist has had a few already as they’ve journeyed through the narrative seeking out things that never came to be. With each unrealised goal a realisation of different sorts has emerged from the experience. Given that these moments were born out of a lack of knowledge of the self they were bigger, different, and new experiences of the self for the protagonist. As I write into the last chapters the protagonist’s sense of self grows and the ‘new’ becomes less surprising. The superficiality of change has crept below the surface and the protagonist has settled into the discovery of their depths with a backtrack over old ground on the journey into the new, which serves to highlight the change that has occurred within against the backdrop of an unchanged landscape. The tale that I have chosen for the bones of the story fits the hero’s journey model as many ancient tales do; the hero is now transiting the return, or return to self.