This gray weather weighs on me. As does the rejection I received this morning, and the two on Monday. And while I know that many things are worse than a cold summer (for example, heat waves and flooding) and many, many things are worse than a couple of poetry rejections, I tend to let these detours get to me. I succumb to external factors–entirely beyond my control–and I let them get me down.
Then I remember the baggy gray tights.
Soon after I moved to New York in 1984, I had the opportunity to participate in a dance performance. A friend of my colleague Marguerite was choreographing a piece, and she invited us to audition. (In the Children’s Department of the Barnes & Noble Sales Annex, three of us were modern dancers.) We rehearsed in the Manhattan summer heat, and then it was time for the dress rehearsal. Our costumes: Gray men’s tights. (I don’t remember what we wore on top–something, I’m sure.) The tights were thick and they didn’t fit and they felt ugly. Or ugh-ly.
We began to run through the pieces. As we stood watching Marguerite dance a duet, I remember the third dancer, Susan, gasping–just a tiny gasp. She exclaimed how beautifully Marguerite was dancing, how completely she was beyond worrying or even being aware of the fact that she was wearing ugly, baggy gray tights. She was immersed.
A good lesson. So if I’ve got the baggy gray tights or the rejection slips or whatever, I need to let that go and immerse myself in the good things that I can do–write a blog post, write a poem–focus on those.
And fortunately, I don’t have a photo of those tights.