Yesterday an email popped into my inbox. It was the fourth such email in about a month or so - "While we did not select your project to be funded, we want to thank you for..."
The kind decline.
As an artist for over two decades, I am very well familiar with the kind decline. Also the abrupt decline, the silence that means a decline, and the rude rejection. It is part of the deal and it rarely needs to be taken personally, if ever. Indeed, most of the places where I was applying were choosing something like 60 projects out of 4,000 applicants. Seriously. You would have to be even more delusional than I am to believe that there was any specific personal message in not beating those odds.
And yet. And yet, there is still a sting, a little moment of ouch. Yesterday, to get the fourth in a row of said emails and to get it in the middle of a time when I am seriously and deeply considering how art will occupy my life in the coming years, well, I have to admit, I wallowed in that sting for a bit.
After a good dose of "nobody wuvs me", I decided the right and proper medicine would be to go out in the backyard and dig up the bamboo that has been taunting me for the past couple of years. Eradicate was my watch word!
Surely the combination of sweat, dirt and hard labour would dispel any lingering notions of self-pity.
(This picture is included only to sort of illustrate how bamboo growing inside of my compost bin caused the top to lift off completely. I begin to suspect that bamboo is possessed of some other worldly spirit...)
Unless, of course, the bamboo itself were to cause a sense of deep despair and hopelessness. But that couldn't happen. Right?