Day 3 VCCA: Birds as Leaves as Progress

The starlings are migrating south by the thousands and each sunrise and sunset, hundreds of them alight on the trees and silos here at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Walking from the Studio Barn to dinner last night, ceramic artist David Garratt and I marveled for a long while at the clamor and clatter coming from the sky. Everywhere we looked, the trees seemed to be full of leaves again, as though Fall had only just begun. But of course the leaves weren’t leaves, they were birds, and Fall is indeed making its final descent into winter.
I couldn’t help but think about how one thing gets replaced by another, by another, by another. We lose the leaves and just as quickly something comes in their place. But as a reminder of all that’s temporary, the birds too will leave the trees and something else will come in their place: the cold, skeletal silhouettes of branches in the winter. I received a lot of rejection letters lately. I’ve got a tough skin, but I still took a beating. With last week’s great experiences I slowly feel myself being lifted back up. Bad news gets replaced with good news. Good news changes perspective. Perspective leads to insight. And so it goes, from leaves to birds to progress.
This just in: My war stories manuscript was listed as a semi-finalist in the Black Lawrence Press Saint Lawrence Book Award. I don’t get to advance to the final round, but out of thousands of submissions it’s nice to know at least I got a little nod. The way these things go, my manuscript has changed (right down to the title) since I long-ago had to send this to them for consideration. I’m still hopeful. If I cane make it this far in a book contest, surely something will give soon enough…

  • dragon

    Congrats on the semi-finals! Be hopeful, absolutely. A home is out there for it.


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