Monday, March 12, 2012

Soapy Thoughts

Some years ago I bought a package of shell-shaped little soaps and a porcelain shell-shaped dish to hold them. They sat on the counter of our downstairs half bath for years – our guests were too polite to use them. When we moved to our new place, they again were put on the counter, and again no one used them. Every six months or so I’d rinse the dust off them. Then, a few weeks ago, I bought a pretty silver alarm clock for the bathroom and suddenly we had reached critical mass on the counter. Something had to go. The soaps were unused, purely ornamental; everything else was used and useful. So I gave the porcelain shell and the shell soaps to a friend – except for the starfish-shaped one. Impulsively, I kept it. It is very nearly the same pinkish-salmon color as my bar soap dish. I put it on the thin bar of Ivory already there and I use it to wash my hands. The pleasant proportions of white and salmon soap shapes won’t last, and in a couple of weeks, will gone entirely, but for right now, it’s very attractive. But it’s not the be-all and end-all of my bathroom, or even the counter top, of course.

Big deal, right?

Then, washing my hands the other evening, I waxed philosophical. That starfish is like my writing. In the great scheme of things, it’s barely a blip. It’s not great literature and in fifty – or even twenty – years no one will be able to recall the name of Monica Ferris. But for what it is, right now, it’s good, and there are people who enjoy it. And that’s enough for me.

In an amazingly short time from now I will be on my way to Florida – my flight leaves at 5:35 am Tuesday. So I will be posting this Monday. I’m taking my laptop with me and hope to be on line from Fort Myers.

Advance notice: Saturday, March 24, from one to five: Bloomington Book Fair, at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN. I’ll be sitting at a table with Carl Brookins, senior member of my writer’s group, and we’ll both have books for sale.

April 14, from 10 am, I’ll be at Nordic Needle needlework shop in Fargo, ND. I’ll also have a role in Nordic Needle’s retreat, which begins the 11th.


Carol S said...

How many of us still have our shell-shaped soaps? My mother gave me a butterfly soap several months ago that she had for years. I picked it up by mistake one night and used it, and found I really liked the feel and effect of the soap. So now it is unrecognizable but loved. Use them, then someone can give you more!

Betty Hechtman said...

I hope you enjoy Florida. Who knows whose writing will be remembered in 50 years. I'm with you. I'm am enjoying what I have now.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Enjoy Florida, Monica! That soap analogy is a good one, but I'd like to think our writing is more than a blip. Even if we're not remembered individually far in the future, we're still a phenomenon!

Anonymous said...

Monica, The world may or may not remember you but your children and grandchildren will be proud to tell their friends and acquaintances that you were a writer.