Keep on submitting. Don’t misunderstand. The rejections were bland enough, kind enough, respectful enough. My mistake was hoarding them in the little dark closet in the back of my mind. “ There I have a chance. They’re smaller presses so I have a better chance.” Both rejections arrived on the same day. So…. out come the folders, the pink revision pencil and off I go. Fix it, Polish it, send it.
It started innocently enough. The little blue cover looked like a perfect replacement for my iPad cover. The old cover had started out with a cool ” distressed” Union Jack vibe and over the course of a couple of years descended into sloppy rag status. While no one knows better than I that such an image can be a “look” all its own, I felt a valuable device to which I am hopelessly addicted deserved a little more protection. So, when my dear companion ( watch this space for a piece on what to call a “boyfriend” when one is over …well over …..60) so when he spotted the neat blue number at the Salvation Army shop for three dollars, we grabbed it.
Next scene, two puzzled baby boomers finally figuring out that this was not an ipad cover but some protector for a device that went the way of the dodo five minutes after it’s invention. “Wasn’t there some sort of Kindle thing that just let you read stories?” This incredulous question from someone who doesn’t even text! Then the ominous words…”Don’t worry, honey. I’m sure I can fix it a bit and you can still use it.” The poor little blue cover lay forgotten for a couple of days and then I made the mistake of starting the modification. Not to worry, my beloved handyman soon took over and after a few tricky manoeuvres and some judicious repair of my mistaken initial stab at the remodel, I now have a unique ipad cover. I particularly like the burn effect at the photo aperture. Makes it look like something exploded on a particularly raunchy shoot. “Here, take a look at this retina burner”. After I finished sewing up a poorly thought- out slit I made with an exacto knife, it was perfect. And who knew dental floss was the perfect thread for Chinese plastic? Despite a few suppressed attempts to throw the little blue cover into the wood stove during this whole operation, I think buying it was three dollars well spent. Persistence and patience were thrown in as part of the bargain.
With the generosity of nature, my pink rose bush is putting forth new buds every day. It doesn’t hold back, doesn’t judge if the weather is too hot or too cold. Doesn’t sulk if petals fall in drifts as soon as a sweet smelling bloom has matured. This flower caught my eye because a leaf had pressed against it and not allowed it to open fully on one side. Perfect in its imperfection. So I chose it above all the others.
The little orchid leaf is a tribute to persistence. A clump of leaves burst out of the stem of an old orchid plant I was nursing along into second blooming. I had never seen such a thing. Usually the leaves stay down at the base of the pot. I cut off the leaves with a few roots and planted it, but they withered and some of the roots turned brown. I put it out onto the balcony, meaning to deal with it when the mess in my house was more under control. Look what it did! It made some tiny new leaves. It decided to grow its own way, the way it wanted. I gave up on it but it did not give up on itself. It stayed alive and lives its own way.
Remember that saying from way back? Too far back for some you, right? How about, “Hang in there!” Persistence, I guess that’s what it boils down to.
I cut this branch of lilac from the tree in my backyard on a dismal and grey day when the mist looked suspiciously like tiny snowflakes and a brisk wind convinced me that Spring just wasn’t going to show up. The buds on the little tree were there, alright but they were firmly shut. I could hardly blame them. Nothing encouraging going on in the sky or in the cold ground.
After two days in a little vase from my grandmother’s house they are opening up. The scent is faint but unmistakable.
The weather has turned. It is sunny, still a little cool but with a forecast of warm days ahead. The other blooms on the tree will come out, unfurl, open and spread their fragrance down the little city lane for birds, cats, dogs and people to enjoy for a few moments.
A nice metaphor that I will not belabour. Leave things alone, Isobel. All will come right.