I was always the last one chosen for teams when I was a child. I was small and skinny, and I came from a family that prized brains, because we had no brawn. It didn't bother me, because I didn't want to play anyway -- secretly, I hoped the gym teachers would just say, "Oh, it's alright, Jackie. We'll give you credit for your outstanding reading skills. You don't have to play." That never happened. Not even once. Character-building came through failed efforts to serve the volleyball, pop flies that I either missed or that landed on my face, and an inability to put a basketball through the hoop.
Recently, however, I had a different kind of experience with not being chosen. American Spring, the exhibit put together by the Fiber Artists for Hope, is in Little Rock, Arkansas as part of the commemoration of the 55th Anniversary of Central High School's desegregation. All of the quilts were shipped to Arkansas but the two venues did not have room for all of them, so the people setting up the displays selected what they wanted based on the story they were trying to tell.
My piece was not among the chosen.
I shrugged it off at first, but then I went back and looked at what seemed like an awfully long list of the pieces that were selected. Instead of being happy for the other group members, I was getting grumbly. Was I the only one that didn't get picked? What was wrong with mine? This isn't volleyball, people, so why didn't I get picked? In my jealous fog I even went back and compared the "yesses" to the complete list.
I am not proud of this.
Reason and calm returned when I saw that no, mine wasn't the only one, and that there were recurring themes in the works that would be hung in Little Rock. The organizers had chosen wisely. I was embarrassed about my mental tantrum and no one even knew about it.
I felt even more ridiculous this morning when I read the email notifying me that my quilt, along with seven others, would be travelling to Philadelphia to be displayed at a youth anti-violence conference. Dick Gregory and Trayvon Martin's parents will be speaking. This venue is perfect for these eight quilts and I am thrilled that mine is going. What was that about good things and waiting? Maybe next time, I'll hold off on the indignation and see what happens.
Linking up with Yeah Write again this week, because I can't seem to stop myself.