If you didn’t grow up speaking Arabic (or possibly Persian or Turkish), you’re probably not familiar with the phrase, “There’ll be apricots in the morning.”
While this might sound delightful, especially if you like apricots, it’s the rough equivalent of “pie in the sky when you die,” or maybe, “Sure you can have a pony for Christmas. You can keep it in the bathtub.” In other words, that ain’t never, never, never gonna happen.
Recently I had come to the conclusion that this was pretty much the situation with the actual availability in paper back, not on Kindle under the wrong name, of The Book of Squidly Light: The Continuing Chronicles of Halycon Sage. Long, long ago, in the dear, dead, darling days of yesteryear (say about a month ago), we, the Editing Team, had done everything necessary to launch its publication and sent it, all excited and dewy-eyed, out into the world to make its fortune. The only remaining need was for Amazon.com, apparently a modern ‘strange god’ both powerful and capricious, to do its part and frickin’ PUT THE THING ON ITS WEBSITE! Simple, no? N’est pas? Nicht war? Apparently not.
I am not a patient person. While there are people and animals with real problems in the world—you know them only too well, up to and including the possible destruction of the earth—I traversed stages from compulsive site-checking through seething impatience and finally arrived at a sort of maudlin self-pity pretending to be world-weary stoicism. Which would have fooled nobody, though I was smart enough not to disclose my state to any but a few dear friends in the zikr circle.
And yesterday during salat—prayer time—came the blindingly obvious revelation. Oh, yeah. Bismillah. Inshallah. Masha’allah. I stopped praying, “Please, please, please, Daddy, Daddy, please?” and prayed, “Please, at the right time. Not my time, Your time.” Because that always works so much better.
So I now await the eventual release of the paperback edition and the arrival of the physical object with the composure and patience of a young Victorian lady doing embroidery while waiting for her beloved to arrive on a very slow horse. Or with even more. When it comes out, you’ll be the first to know. Bismillah. Inshallah. Ma sha’allah.
— Karima Vargas Bushnell and the Editing Team: Sophie McGregor, valedictorian; Basel Vasselschnauzer, Ph.D; No-Name Stupid (a horse); and a whole mess of Squidren.