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Hard to imagine that it was only ten months ago, to the day, that I visited Roz and her family where she was recovering from surgery for scoliosis at a family member's home in London. It was a cold day, and we had just had the most delicious lunch - and her dad had made the most excellent coffee (the secret, besides strong, freshly ground, good quality beans, and hot milk, is a bit of thick rich cream) and as she lay on a day bed, to rest her back, we chatted with her mum and ate heavenly pastries. Then went out into the garden, in the cold, to do this shoot. I'd say it was under a week since she'd had the surgery.
As those of you who know her, and as she's recounted her blog, Clothes, Cameras and Coffee, the procedure, and the process of recovery, hasn't been easy, for her, or her family. While she's been honest with her readers, she's also been - as is her nature - quite humble, and modest, about her courage.
What I've always admired about Roz is how she consistently focuses on the positive. When I've gone through my own challenges this year, she's always inspired me to keep 'rising above.' I feel I can always learn, and benefit, by someone's shining example, and age has nothing to do with that. I often learn my best lessons from young children. (I just realised: it was one of these shots, from this day, that ended up in ElleGate! It was a paid staff employee in Spain, named Carmen, who pretended she took this picture - and then mocked Roz for looking like a 'cold' woman! And even then - when we were offered compensation by their lawyers, and ultimately, didn't get it, even THEN, Roz and her family still rose above: we all agreed, it was better karmically to just let it go. But Carmen Bejerano, and her boss, Sibila Freijo Fernandez are the reasons I have to take the time to put my logo on each photo - even though that didn't stop them from publishing my photos as their own, the first time round.)
It is the grace - the dignity and the elegance - with which Roz responds to any negativity in her life which is EXACTLY why I'm so happy for her that she's won the Vogue Talent Contest for writing, 2011. I can't wait to see it: it's out now. But I'm also touched that, when she told me, in confidence, a week or two back, that she'd won, she was as excited, if not more, at the discovery, the same day, of her excellent grade results. In school.
Because Roz, after all, is still only 16.
Karma, alas, isn't always instant. Some people can go a whole lifetime with one bad break after another, and they don't get the rewards til the next lifetime, when they get to come back as, say, a cat. Get to sleep all day long, take endless baths, and, if they're cute enough, eat tuna fish.
Other people - for example, the 'obnoxious bloggers', as Imogen so bravely posted about in EIGHT recently, chasing some idea of fame or success, no matter the cost to others, seem to get what they fight so viciously for. For a while, at least. And the irony of the first two bloggers who rushed to comment on that post isn't lost on me, or those who know the truth.
They say Karma's a Bitch, and I believe that to be true. I've been around a while, in this life, and it does seem the case that no matter what 'success' those kind of people achieve, there's always a cost, karmically. I'd, personally, still rather be able to sleep at night.
Yes, Karma can be a Bitch, but She can also - sometime, like in the case of Roz's winning the VOGUE UK contest - be Fair, and Just, and True.
Have you had any instances of Karma you'd like to share with the group? How instant was yours?
Okay, enough chit chat for one day. And so, like boats against the current, we all continue, I hope, to shine on. Like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.