Thursday, July 28, 2016

I won something ...



On Tuesday, July 26, I attended the awards ceremony for the Jamaica Creative Writing Competition, hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). I was expecting to get one medal for one poem. I walked away with three medals and the award for best overall writer.

It was a very pleasant surprise, and while I did not tarry long to revel in the moment, when I got home after a very long night spent elsewhere, I had to step back, look at my loot ... and laugh.

The win represented a moment of classic irony. Of all the competitions I had entered this year, the JCDC writing competition was one of the ones I had the least expectations of. I had invested much higher hopes into other things - all of which proved disappointing.

Added to that, I honestly had not expected my poems to do so well. I had expected the short story to medal (it didn't), but I hadn't given much thought to my poems doing particularly well ... . So I stood there laughing and shaking my head at my obvious miscalculations. I stood there looking at and learning from the blessing of the unexpected.

It felt like a reminder from life to just cast your bread and sow your seed ... and leave them there, because you really don't know which one is going to prosper, or if they will all do equally well.

Ecclesiastes 11:1-6, The Bible
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.
True words. Very true words. My prayer that night was one of simple gratitude. I gave thanks for encouragement at the best of times, from the most unexpected places.

Selah.