Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunshine

I skipped outside, leaving a world of crazy cubicle psychos, bad lighting and beige walls behind me. Taking a deep breath, I beamed up at the bright blue sky.

"Gorgeous day, isn't it?" A fluttering of wings whispered in my ear and two tiny feet landed on my shoulder.

"Hello!" I joyfully exclaimed. "I haven't seen you in awhile."

The wings opened and closed. "It was time for us to return."

We walked in companionable silence, the butterfly opening and closing his wings slowly.

"You seem much more at peace than the last time we spoke."

"I feel much more at peace," I said truthfully. "It seemed like when we got the puppies and I returned my focus to children's books, everything clicked into place. I know it sounds cheesy, but it feels right."

"Things that are described as 'cheesy' are normally the only correct things," the butterfly whispered. His wings tickled my arm as it brushed by.

"It came at the right time," I said, shaking my blond hair back from my face. "I had started to think I was a horrible writer. I felt like I couldn't write a story or that my plots were messed up and my characters week. I started to think maybe I was only good at writing short stories, and that I would never be published. But the second I wrote some short children's stories, I instantly felt better. It's like the pressure when you have a headache and it lifts suddenly, giving you such a free feeling."

"Perhaps it was not all a mistake," the butterfly said, delicately resting on the top of my hand.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Perhaps you needed to write those stories," the butterfly murmured. "Perhaps you needed that rejection, that experience. For while some think stories of animals and fairies are simple, they are often much more than they appear."

"That's true," I nodded. "It just comes so natural for me. I never try to think of a higher meaning or deep reason. It is what it is."

"Which is why they bring you joy," the butterfly continued. "You can not force meaning or try to seek it out like a jewel. Meaning is exposed and revealed through acts of beauty and art. For you, children's stories gave you a truth. You were trying to change an audience to suit your work. Instead, if your work goes to the correct audience, they will naturally be changed. You were fighting a battle with the wrong ammunition."

"I never understood women anyway," I grumbled. "I've only ever had a few girl friends."

"You understand more than you think," the butterfly said, tickling my fingers with its wings. "You simply refuse to engage of matters of meritocracy. You prefer the unseen. The reality that most have forgotten in their quest for fine wine and fancy shoes."

"That's a really nice way to put it," I said, blushing.

"With happiness comes success." The butterfly landed on my nose, its antennae gently kissing my cheek. "I have a good feeling."

With that he was gone, floating off into a sky the color of a robins' eggs. I smiled after him and touched my cheek.

I had a good feeling too.

5 comments:

Marie said...

This is very profound Ducky. I loved it, every word of it. It's all so true. I have not forgotten your tales. I have been swamped at work this week, and I want to give them proper attention, undivided and true. Never fear, I haven't forgotten you! XXOO Success will come my dear, you are just too good for it not to happen for you, and when you are famous I will be able to say . . . "I knew you when" . . .

Emma Sanders said...

This is awesome. I wish I could see myself the way you do. I'm glad everything clicked with you and you found your way. I'm feeling very positive about your children's stories!

Mama K said...

Perhaps what you were looking for was there all the time. Sometimes we have to suffer for our art to be able to appreciate success when it comes along. If things come too easy, we don't hold on to the little things quite tight enough and recognize them for what they are. Now that I am through being "philosophical", I ALWAYS said you ARE a wonderful teller of tales for children. Your stories have always produced happy images dancing in my mind.

The Blonde Duck said...

Mama K-

I knew when I wrote this you would say that. :) And you have every right to say I told you so.

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