I’ve lost my fear of failure, and I’m in no rush to replace it. I’ll encounter failure again, in dark alleys and low lit corners, but I will see it as only a friendly former foe with an age-crooked back and dull, flaky claws.

The rejections arrive as sleeping breaths, inevitable, slow and deep. They lost their ability to cause pain, like the hair I pluck from between my eyebrows. After twenty-odd years of yanking at the same patch of skin, there are no nerves left to harm.

They don’t like my work, but I do.  I think it’s brilliant, I can’t get enough of myself.  So, I’ll keep it all and stop this farce of sharing.

My body of work will go into the grave with the body of its creator.  All buried deep into the wet organics with the dead leaves and rot and revolting decay.  (Revolting is a word I don’t use often enough. It has a lovely mouth feel, full-bodied and rich on the tongue, with undertones of a midden pit in mid-summer.)  Or into the fiery furnace which would be, in fact, my preferred method of disposal.  The potential for mistaken living-burial is reduced by the consumption of mind by flames. Only reduced though, we know not where the sense of self lives after all.  If it is in the bit of skin behind my right knee, as I truly suspect, instead of just behind the eyes as most believe, and if, perchance, that bit is not consumed in the fire, my nightmare of being trapped in this world and unable to interact with it will come to pass. Trapped, motionless, still. And then won’t I be sorry.

Failure is a still life.  A life without motion or movement, not of the hand or foot, but of neuron to synapse and the vast spaces between yours and mine and theirs and ours, is as dead as death could ever be.

Death scares me to death, now that I understand what life is for. It is not for submissions and rejections but for the creation of the items to submit.  For the conversations and songs and art and words and the birds and the food and the lovely, lovely wine.  For this apple and lemon and orange, in digital form, life stilled by pixels, and for these lines and curves, shapes and symbols in digital ink, that let me move these hyper-active thoughts from my mind to yours.

2 thoughts on “Still Life

  1. I’ve come to believe rejection letters and worse still, the silent rejections merely exist to test our heart rates, to see we are indeed still alive, still part of this world of ours. As Johnny Cash said: I hurt myself today to see if I still feel.

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