Here's a riddle for all you puzzle-solvers out there. For the answer click here.

The beggining of eternity,
the end of time and space,
the beggining of every end,
the end of every place

A phrase often attributed to Talleyrand (1754-1838). Supposedly, after the battle of Leipzig, in October 1813 (or at some other occasion - the Hundred Days are often mentioned in alternative versions of the story), Talleyrand said to Napoleon: "C'est la commencement de la fin".

The thought does not appear to be original with Talleyrand, though. In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 5, Scene 1, one finds the words "That is the true beginning of our end".

A commonly quoted variation on this theme is found in Winston Churchill's words (in a speech, November 11, 1942): "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning."

Every ending begins with a conversation

A few words become an argument. They are sent back and forth, slowly at first, then faster. They are shotgun blasts, splattered across the room with poor aim. Silence arrives, but the damage is done. Apologies follow, but they are more a reflection of remorse than a change of mind. Invisible lines are drawn, but the truce is temporary. Subsequent battles ensue, until exhausted, one side surrenders. Finally and for good, someone leaves.

Exhibit A or exhibit B, it matters not. Blame is revisionist history. There are a limited number of ways to do the math. Two minus one always equals one.

Every ending begins with a conversation.

Lights rarely go out quickly,
they dim.

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