At age 9, I fancied myself a rabbit hunter.
My hunting buddy, Brian, lived next door. His parents cultivated a huge garden and we were doing our part to keep critters out. It was a great game. We did a lot of scheming – weapons, strategies. And whenever we saw a rabbit nibbling nearby grass, we'd tear after it, shrieking, no doubt turning its fur just a little big grayer.
Of course, we never even got within throwing distance of anything. But such discouragements never dampened our drive.
One summer evening, we decided a night hunt was in order. We convinced our parents to let us out after dark and crept around our yards with flashlights and sticks, two intrepid hunters.
I went to bed that night with my stuffed bunny, exhilarated and still scheming, convinced we were closer than ever to success. But I awoke with a sweaty start to images of flashing eyes and blood on my hands. A bad dream. I hadn't thought about the blood before. That we were trying to kill something.
Here was where we took up a new game – playing Egyptians, I think. Something that felt a little less real.
Last weekend, I auditioned for what is sure to be a spectacular event – Listen to Your Mother – a Mother's Day show that will feature some amazing writers.
I wanted to stand among them. I went into the audition excited and confident – I love reading aloud, and I'm proud of my writing. After my fit of despondency early last week, I felt tentative but new and brave. Intrepid, even.
Though my knees shook, the audition went well and the director seemed to like my piece.
But I didn't make the cast list.
I could have really used affirmation – from someone outside my beloved circle of family and friends, all you wonderful people who tirelessly pat me on the back – that what I'm unwrapping around here is something more than nothing.
But I think I needed the rejection even more.
A gentle splash in the face. A cup of cold water reminding me that this soul spelling will involve a measure of blood spilling if it's going to be real.
And I have to be okay with that.
Okay with hard work and humility and rejection and watching sweet bunnies die if they have to.
Oh, and I turned the comments back on around here. I feel a little more stable this week and a bit silly for being so dramatic. Thanks for putting up with me.