Buck Up, Princess ~ You're In The Big Leagues Now

by - June 10, 2016

A sparrow died. Its tiny heart sputtered, a wing trembled like the first stirrings of an unborn child, and then it was all over. Its stillness became absolute and a minute hole opened in the fabric of the world, the gel of life pulsing to mend it back, stitching up that chasm before one more creature could slip away.

I watched it like a film reel. I felt it in the vibrations of the earth and in my strange anger that this little life wasn't even worthy of brake lights.

I'd been following that old farm Dodge all the way from Tim Horton's and I saw the sparrow swoop down from the right in some glorious smooth motion—like watching a paintbrush build upon a mountainscape. My heart heard the impact. I saw its little body arc up high as the truck roared beneath its rainbow. I watched it linger at the top; like God put his finger beneath it for just a second...even the least of these...before it fell—limp, ended, but still pretty; like the memory of the wind still lingered on its wing.

When the truck hit me, I was just a sparrow too. I flew, oblivious and naive, straight into the grill of a bitter Mack Truck.

Have I lost you?

Let me start again.

I did watch that poor little sparrow die as I drove to work on Wednesday. It made me sad.

On Thursday I opened a hateful email from a stranger, calling me ugly names, telling me to do ugly things, working hard to break my spirit and crush my dreams with vulgarity. That was my Mack Truck.

It made me think of the sparrow.

I've stepped out in bravery on this new CRAZY adventure of starting a magazine. I'm really excited about it and submissions have been coming in which makes it real and means people are believing in it {at least that's what I tell myself}.

But one angry email {out of so many nice ones!} whacked me hard, flinging me straight out of my positive trajectory into a tailspin of flushed face and nervous heart.

I had two choices.
  1. I could believe the email.
  2. I could trash the email.

There was a third choice, one I quickly rejected but oh, how sweet it tasted when I lingered there a moment...

TO: <senders email>
SUBJECT: Thank you for your powerful submission

BODY: Dear ********, 

Thank you for submitting to Blank Spaces. Your bold language and strong phrasing moves us. We are excited to tell you that we're accepting your 'poem' to be featured in our premiere issue. Kindly send us a 100 word bio and a print ready head shot, along with your full mailing address. We would be thrilled to send you a copy of your words in print when it is published in September.

Looking forward to working with you.

Alanna Rusnak
Editor in Chief, Blank Spaces  

Of course, I could never do this. I wouldn't dream of hurting any of your eyes with the words that I saw spilled across my screen BUT yeah... {and how cool is it that I get to sign emails 'Editor in Chief'??!!??!!}

That poor sparrow didn't have a comeback for the Dodge that took its life; instead, it faced its punishment with a grace we only find in nature.

I needed to do the same.

I blocked the email address and deleted the email. I recorded the senders name in a file called BANNED. I dumped my heart on Facebook so my community of positive advocates could rally around me and tell me yes, I could get up off the pavement. Yes, I can shake my fist at the truck but then I can forget about it because he has nothing to do with me or what I'm doing.

Anything worth doing probably comes with some kind of opposition. Perhaps that means I'm onto something here. People with aspirations frighten people without them. I won't let that be my problem. I'm about doing and chasing and spreading the joy. I'm happy where I'm at. This wasn't about me. It probably wasn't even about what I'm doing.

It's behind me now.

How sad that one person wastes time trying to make another feel small. The internet makes cruel souls brave. I can't do anything about that. I can only control my own response and I'm going to fly away from this. There's a great tailwind tonight and I just received the prettiest submission of photography...


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© Alanna Rusnak