Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday morsel: turtle on a fence post


Just last week I posted about "Rejection" and my so-far unsuccessful attempts to have my stories and poems published.  Then this past Saturday in the newspaper, a local United Church minister, Bob Ripley, had a column on the very same subject of literary rejections.  He gave some great insights about the more general benefits that can be gleaned from something that feels so negative.  One benefit he mentioned was humility -- particularly the need to acknowledge that the success we do enjoy isn't all our own doing.  I liked this paragraph so much that I've decided to use it as today's Monday Morsel:

"Humble people remember their roots and avoid the heady intoxication of prestige.  They know that accolades should not be hoarded, that applause should be deflected.  If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help."
- Rev. Bob Ripley, "In Other Words" column - Kingston Whig-Standard, May 25, 2013
 


13 comments:

  1. Wow. That image really drives the point home.

    I want to add -- prideful people don't tell their friends that they've received rejections! Thank you for being so open about this process. Your humble heart shines through.

    P.S. I can imagine you have done your share of turtle placement too! :)

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    1. Thanks, Adriana -- all the best writers received a lot of rejections, so I just tell myself I'm in good company! Then again, all the worst writers also received a lot of rejections ........ :-)

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    2. And some of the worst of the worst writers got published!

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    3. As our friend Nick so aptly pointed out the other day! That TWILIGHT post was WOW. I've never picked the book up. I was just shocked and ... well, SADDENED that the book is SO popular.

      All of a sudden I'm humming the Beatles song "Paperback Writer."

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    4. Yeah that was kind of depressing, wasn't it? "I could see the sacrifice in her eyes behind the promise." Ewwww.

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  2. That turtle on a fence post illustration is sometimes used to explain the concept of circumstantial evidence: a circumstance you witness yourself can lead you to a rock solid conclusion about something else. In this case, the turtle didn't get on that post by itself.

    Thoreau used a similar illustration: "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."

    Turtles and trout and the rules of evidence. Who says the law is boring?

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    1. Yeah: "Turtles can fly -- I've seen proof!" That's a really good point about circumstantial evidence. I didn't realize this analogy had so many applications!

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    2. I really should write a post about the turkey that knocked on my door last week.

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    3. Yes, you should. Your pictures were priceless: those birds really looked like they wanted to come in for a serious chat.

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  3. Writing, like all art, is never "perfect" - to the artist it is never finished. Kind of like people... we continually develop, grow. There's a notion that all of us have a book in us, if only we sit down and write it. I'd revise that a little by saying all of is IS a book - each of us is a story. Personally I think our story, our life journey, is about learning and growing. Unfortunately we tend to learn more by the hard knocks than the soft landings.
    Jeannie personifies dignity in the travel!

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    1. Sarah, that is so true -- we learn more from the hard knocks. You'd think after, gulp, nearly 50 years I'd figure that out ... :-) Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Hi Jeannie, Loved this post! Where did you get the picture of the turtle??? Maureen

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    1. Well, Maureen, I googled "turtle fencepost images." There were tons of them -- who knew!!

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