Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rejected


It's easy to become complacent. It's easy to assume quietly that someone else doesn't know what they are talking about. It's easy to be smug. It's even easier to have your feet pulled from under you and have your entire self-worth erased in a single sentence that obliterates any walnut-sized piece of self-confidence you hold somewhere behind your sternum.

Friday, September 22, 2006, I received my first rejection notice from a theatre for "Salt Peanuts". Let's be clear here. I've been rejected plenty of times in my life. God knows (Satan too, for that matter), my high school experience was dominated by the singularly teen-aged feeling that everyone had rejected me and I, in good turn, had rejected everyone else. There have been numerous job interviews that failed to illicit a return call. Many designs and creations have been turned aside in favour of another one. Yet, for all those instances, "appropriateness" dominated the rejection criteria. This rejection, while diplomatic, helpful and even graceful should have been devastating. In fact, rejection of a writer's work is considered a right of passage similar to many we face in life - I'm thinking of First Communion, Bar Mitzvah, an aboriginal youth's vision quest, that finding of your animal spirit, or of a rookie junior 'A' hockey player's gentle grasping of Ritz crackers (I will say no more, Sir).

Somehow, it was not devastating. I would say it was more uplifting. Not merely had my play been rejected, more importantly, it had been read. I realize, this particular theatre has the wonderful policy of reading 'everything submitted', still I felt an air of legitimacy. I had taken that long walk, and the door, the first of many, no doubt, had been firmly shut in my face. Like the shock of diving into cold summer waters, it was exhilarating.

I'm certain after the second or third time, this feeling will wear off, and by the twentieth or thirtieth time, it will really have that devastating, soul squishing, life crushing effect I so expect. Every part of life has its opposite. Dark has light, Ying has Yang, Siegfried has Roy, and Rejection has Acceptance.

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