Woah! Spit-shined boots! This is my own private cliché. This is my exclamation when I experience that darkest moment that is just before dawn and I know by experience I will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Spit-shined boots happened to me again this morning. In my capacity as the new member of Musique, I was diligently, and exuberantly, rehearsing the tenor part for a song that has become one of my favorites. I have thought for a week now that I had the notes down and the memorization in the bag; yet, as I sang with confidence, I began messing up here; forgetting a word over there. Suddenly, the light dawned. Yes! Spit- shined boots!
I learned about spit-shined boots in 1972, from my first husband who was a stract trooper, in the army. Basically, this means he was strict about every last detail of appearance and behavior. Infatuated, starry-eyed, young bride that I was; I sat with him weekly as he spit-shined oxfords and boots. Under his instruction, I learned to do the process myself. Cotton ball, Kiwi, water. Kiwi, water. Kiwi water. Water. Kiwi water. water. My shoulders ached, my eyes were glazed. Just when I was exhausted, he would say, “more water.” Ah, I could see the shine developing under the cotton ball! We were almost done! Then, he would say, “more Kiwi.” The first time this happened, despair came crashing down on me. I so wanted to be done with it. With experience, I came to understand that more Kiwi did not mean I was starting over. More Kiwi is the final polish before the dazzling shine.
The tough moments in life; the times I have already invested too much to go back, but I despair of ever seeing the success of completion? Those are the times I encourage myself with spit-shined boots!