"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meeting Mojo

Lightning flashed on the horizon but stars blinked overhead the night I met Mojo. He came in the middle of the night. He woke me up. He knocked on the door and I unlocked it.

He stood in shadow but I knew who he was. I invited him in.

“No,” he said. “You must come out.”

So out I went. We sat on the porch and lightning bugs landed in his hair and formed a constellation called Perseverance. Night birds chirped from the half-dead ash trees along the road and Mojo tapped his elongated fingers on the arm of the metal chair. He said no two sound alike if I would but pay attention, and I listened to the sing-song from across the yard, much like the murmuring amongst a flock of hens, low and throaty and full of mystery, as they run here and there with their full-hipped waddle.

I asked him why he came and went like a flimsy idea and he said it was I who could call him up at will if I but put aside that which wasn’t necessary to the writing life. He rose to his feet, and the lightning bugs flew out of his hair and flickered away into the hayfield.

“I have something for you,” he said. “We can go inside now.”

We sat at the kitchen table and he lit up a cigarette, holding it like a joint between his thumb and forefinger.

“What is it you have,” I said, impatient with his silence.

He stubbed it out. It didn't smell like a cigarette. It smelled like clover. “Show me your room,” he said.

I took him into my room, and he drew artwork from inside his shirt like a sorcerer and displayed it on my bed, and I waited for him to explain himself. Then he handed me a letter from an agent.

“Take it,” he said, forcing it upon me. “It’s a good letter and nothing to be sad about.”

I looked at the envelope. The return address was New York and my pulse skipped. A letter from New York, but one to be sad about.

“You should display it like a painting,” he motioned to the one on the bed. “And learn from it. You will not have success until you have had rejection you don’t turn your back on and refuse to learn from.”

And he was gone like the constellation of fireflies, leaving only the memory of his presence, but his words are etched along the knobs of my backbone.

All this in a dream.

9 comments:

Judy Croome said...

Mojo is very wise. The dawn only comes after walking through the night, and writing is no different. Rejection before success. Doesn't make it any easier to bear, though. Hopefully, the lessons get easier the more we write. :)

Judy
Visit my blog for the Free Autographed Book Giveaway to celebrate Southern African Women Writers

g-man said...

Hi Yvonne...
I was just passing thru to say Hi and got caught up in your little tale. I loved it!
Missed you around the old Funfest. But as long as you are writing and happy is all that really matters.
Keep it up...Galen

Cruella Collett said...

All this from a dream? You must be a wise dreamer. I think Mojo is right. Handling rejections is an important part of life, and most writers need to go through that before they get where they want to be. We might not like it, but it's true.

Good luck :)

Lydia Kang said...

Wow. That is very wise. Mojo is right you know. We learn from rejection (even when the rejection has nothing more to say than, "It's me, the agent, not you, the writer."

Wine and Words said...

"came and went like a flimsy idea." This is so well written. I was caught up in the use of language and beautiful descriptors. Then I realized there was a message, so I read it again :)

Anthony Duce said...

I enjoyed this like a mystery story until near the end, wonderful images wanting to know what would happen next. And the ending message was good too. This is a wonderful piece.

Jemi Fraser said...

You really drew me in - Mojo is great :)

Suzanne Casamento said...

Great story. Very visual. Love the fireflies in his hair.

I love that Mojo says not to turn your back on rejection and refuse to learn from it.

Very wise.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Judy,
Thanks. And thanks for the link.

Galen,
Hi! So glad you liked my little tale. Thanks for stopping by. Maybe I'll see you late Thursday night...

Crulla,
If I hadn't written it down right away I never would have remembered it. Of course, I might be guilty of embellishment... Thanks for your comment.

Lydia,
Thank you. I'm glad you liked it!

Annie,
Thank you so much. I hesitated to post this because I thought it was a little too out there, so I'm glad you liked it.

Anthony,
Thanks!! What a lovely compliment and from a wordsmith such as you.
Thank you.

Jemi,
Hi there and thanks! I'm glad you liked my dreamy Mojo.

Suzanne,
Thank you for commenting. I appreciate it so much.