As age creeps up on us, it can get harder to deal with rejections, failures, lack of success, whatever you might feel despondent over, but on the other hand perhaps one’s skin gets tougher too. Strategies for coping might have been developed, and these in turn can contribute to continued productivity.
When we took our first amble through our new garden, a treasure professionally maintained for the previous owner over the past thirty-four years, I knew that I would have to write about the sphagnum-laden tree. Now, coming hard on the heels of a kindly worded rejection slip for a project that I had high, if over-optimistic geriatric hopes for, the tree has become a personal metaphor and I have a new contribution ready for our writing group.
Inevitably, my effort deals with ageing. But the effort, in and of itself, of this musing awakens reminiscences of earlier poetic attempts, and the three short pieces I shall hope to submit seem to form a family of thoughts that somehow conspire to make me think, well, this has been a real joy.
I think that having a personal treasure trove, an archive, of past work and mementos of delight is a kind of solace as older age encroaches. Not that you might feel the need to dip back into the material, but rather that it is there, a tangible representation of effort. Maybe that perspective on an archive is just hopelessly sentimental, an indulgence.
But as we continue to settle here in our new home, unwrapping boxes and boxes of stuff, it’s probably the handiwork, the memories of experience triggered by what you can hold in your hand, that mean the most. So I shall probably continue with my quest to consolidate my work, to enjoy the experience of creating a kind of personal presentation, and to shrug off the rejections when they come in.
Oh, and to keep on exploring new joys.
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