A Persistent Thistle

The image that started it all.

The idea for this blog has been blooming for a while. The seed was planted almost three years ago when a tiny little mantra fell in between the cracks of my broken psyche.

“She persisted.”

More importantly, “NEVERTHELESS, she persisted.”

I know it’s roots are political in nature; the empowered patriarchy outraged that a woman deigned speak. But for me, it was, and has become, so much more than that.

A war cry while suiting up for battle.

A whimper of exhaustion.

A scream, bitterly through tears.

A peaceful, yet determined phrase silently written behind my eyelids.

An unending chant breathed out with every footfall.

A victory yell complete with obligatory fist pumps.

It has manifested itself first in my mind, then on paper, then on a necklace, then a ring, then a tattoo. Now on a blog.

I picture that little phrase pushing its way up from the ground, finding fissures in the concrete, and forcing its leaves to the light. Until one day, it is just there, an irrefutable fact of life. It’s big, it’s in the way, and it may inconvenience – dare I say even *offend* – others. It’s there, whether anyone wants it to be. The fact that she will persist.

Which is why I started equating this fact of my persistence with a thistle. It helps that it’s the Scottish national flower, and one I’ve always both loved and hated. It’s singularly purple flowers are the perfect place to take a picture of a bumblebee, laden with pollen and lazy in summer. Bright yellow Goldfinches risk a thorny stab to pluck their seed tufts in autumn. But they inevitably grow in places you don’t want them, like a lavender firework exploding tall over fields of carefully planted landscape. They grow IN SPITE of any efforts to eradicate them.

Mow them down.

Dig them up.

Pluck their thorns.

Pull their blossoms.

Poison their roots.

And yet, their little seeds fly. They sprout feathery, wispy wings and catch a breeze, and suddenly they are persisting in all the ways you don’t want them. In your garden, under your bird feeders, and in your lawn, just awaiting your tender bare foot to befall them.

And so this is the story of A Persistent Thistle. Like thistles, it won’t be linear and predictable. It will pop up in places you least expect. It will be beautiful, but it will also be sharp, and painful, and turn brown and dull. But it’s time to let my seeds loose and bloom again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s