‘Good things come to those who wait,’ I’ve said to myself repeatedly over the last six months while dealing with the shock of discovering that my ex was not the man I had admired, which had precipitated a spell of depression, which I worked like a dog to escape, which meant I forgot to have days off and became sick with colds and flu, which perpetuated the cycle. Finally, a good thing did come, for I was offered a residency in Hobart at Ridgeline Pottery and Accommodation to write an essay on 19th Century botanist Georgiana Molloy and the craft of her collecting. However, as I’ve sat here with my lovely view of eucalypts, a lagoon and the sea beyond, with showers slanting against the window, or sunlight slipping through the trees, I’ve realised it’s probably more appropriate to say, ‘Good things come to those who try.’
Over these past six months I’ve also put in application after application for grants, competitions, fellowships and residencies, and to have it pay off in such a lovely way gave my self-esteem a much-needed boost. Peta and Ben, who own Ridgeline Pottery (and make pots & teapots such as that in the picture), are kind and interesting people and are taking such good care of me, and I’m finally getting a rest, and I’m writing again. I’m blogging about my stay at Islandia, the blog for Island magazine (the entries will appear on Tuesday), and next weekend I’ll be discussing the residency at The Longest Write, a weekend of writing organised by Island that is held over the winter solstice.
A fortnight before I left, my sister had her third child, a much-wanted and dearly-loved little boy whom she carried to term after several miscarriages that she soldiered through, but left everyone else in disarray. When I hold this child, or smile at him as he fixes on me, slightly cross-eyed, his mouth drawn into a dot at the enormity of my teeth and eyes, I realise I must keep on with my dance classes, which I enjoy, and my internet dating, which I do not, to meet Mr Right.
That’s all on hold for a few weeks, however, while I’m here writing my essay. After this I’ll return to Brisbane for a few days, then go down to Wagga Wagga to present at the annual Association for the Study of Australian Literature conference, and then back to Brisbane again to talk at the opening of the Association of Teachers of the Deaf conference. After that there will be more trying – this time to get back to my third novel, Depths Exceeded. And for that, I can’t wait.