Nin Andrews

How to Deal with Rejection

1. Escape Artists

Don't even try

Some people are lucky. They are born with a gift. A single wish: to escape, become invisible, disappear for weeks at a time, or even years. When you least expect it, they simply vanish. They hide in Himalayan caves and don't come out until they're enlightened. There they never sleep or leave their meditation boxes, which are only 2' 6" by 2' 6". And they don't eat anything but air. There's a special technique for this called Cholen breathing. A person can slowly take apart the sky, one bite at a time. Some cave-dwellers supplement their diet with a single dab of Tibetan medicine, sucked off the pinky finger each day at dawn. The medicine, concocted by lamas, is made from the honey, gathered by a rare species of mountain bees that only drink from the Utpala flowers which bloom every 10,000 years and are held in the hands of Tara, the queen of the Buddhist heavens. Escape artists are smart. They reject the world before it can reject them. They discover the meaning of enough before it's too late. This is the first and most perfect method of dealing with rejection.

2. Practitioners

Get used to it.

Certain saints and monks wear hair shirts and sleep out in the cold without blankets until snow melts around their skin in warm pools, until their rough shirts turn to silk. Then they see only God. These are the practitioners of the art of self-rejection. They offer the world an invitation, Go ahead. Burn me. Beat me.

3. Amnesiacs

Forget about it.

There is always one memory a person must forget. A photo to be shredded or burned. No matter how many decades pass, the photo only grows clearer. Each person knows exactly which picture it is. To destroy this image is essential. The secret of amnesia, however, is not easily revealed to its seeker.

A woman might recall her first grade Christmas concert. As a girl, dressed in black velvet, she sang a solo, at the top of her lungs, belting out all the wrong words. I had grits and eggs for breakfast. Falalalalalala! She has never sung again. If only she could forget . . .

4. Mind Over Matter

Imagine it isn't happening.

In each world, there is another. Each mind is actually many minds. The secret is to link the mind of one's choice with the world of one's wishes. Pay no attention to literal experience: it's all an illusion.

5. Try Again

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Consider it the price of admission, as if for certain sporting events. Remember, most enjoyment in this world has already been banned. For every child, there is a large adult, barring the way, shouting: No. Not you. Never. Simply ignore him.

6. Use a Mantra


Some words are magic, even holy. They hold within their syllables, silent or spoken, the secrets of destiny. Some poor people don't even know they own a mantra. The lucky ones discover it by accident. The sheer pleasure of proclaiming Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck . . .

7. Lie

Say you never even considered submitting your poems anywhere.

Like a pair of invisible sunglasses you can peer through at will to see another dimension, lies are invaluable. And why not? Who knows when another childhood might be nice, compete with another set of constellations and zodiac for your life? Every soul yearns for an occasional vacation from truth.

8. Play God

Become an editor

Become a god. Or like Him. Or Her. You might want to change your name to Tara after the Buddhist goddess of feminine wisdom and compassion. Tara is completely green, the blue-green of leaves in shade, or onion grass. As a goddess, she has the power to accept or reject anyone or anything she likes. Editors do this. Others do it, too, carefully editing their past and beliefs to suit their needs.

9. Meditate

Learn patience

If a person could be still, a guru writes, then the world would come to her, like bees to nectar and offer her whatever she wanted. All her problems would be solved. All her memories would turn sweet. Her wishes would come true as naturally as a tomatoes ripen in July sun. But first, she must keep her eyes closed and remain quiet. How long? she wants to ask, but that would break the silence.

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