It is monsoon season, at the drop of a hat it will start to pour.
Rain, big drops of rain.
Sheets of rain.
Then it stops. In the bat of an eyelash it will all dry up.
Flooding waters, wet all over, and then bam, dry.
Everyone has to deal with it.
Sometimes they wait patiently for it to stop, and if you have to, you just make a run for it.
Sometimes life rains on us.
We need to do what they do here, wait patently, or decide to run.
Either way we need to remember that it will pass, it cannot and will not rain forever.
I performed ‘Flowers Aren’t Enough’ for about 150 people last night.
As all my shows here in India, there were more men than woman.
But as always, there was that one woman.
She laughed uncomfortably when it was inappropriate.
She was fidgeting.
When I looked her way from the stage, I saw it her eyes.
Oh those eyes.
I immediately knew.
It is raining hard in her life.
I have performed ‘Flowers Aren't Enough’ over 1800 times globally; in every audience there is always that woman.
That woman who I want to take out of the rain.
She waits for me after the show.
She is beautiful.
“How do you walk out the door?
Please tell me,” she asks.
Her eyes filled with tears.
“Carefully” I say, “Very carefully!”
I take her hand, and lead her to my friend who runs the domestic violence center here.
“Talk to her, she is your umbrella.”
Domestic violence like the rain, it does not discriminate.
It can happen to the poor, rich, educated, and not.
We all get wet, and nobody likes being wet.
It is uncomfortable, and can make you sick.
In the question and answer with the audience after the show a man asks “Why? Why does this happen?”
“It’s complicated and simple at the same time” I say.
“There are so many different reasons!” and I go into a long answer.
Another man asks, “Isn’t in easier for an independent woman to leave?”
“NO” I say, “Sometimes it is actually harder.”
“Aren’t you worried that what isn’t culturally the same in the play, and the place you are performing will alienate your audience?”
“Have you thought of adapting a changing things?” A young girls asks.
“No” I answer, “My audience is smart, they understand.”
“And maybe a few things are different,” I add.
“But the core is the same, and human nature is global.”
I look at her, “I know that people get it and can relate.”
I think about the rain.
I actually love the rain.
Today we ran through it, laughed and had a blast.
But alas, we then went back to the hotel took a long shower and changed our clothes.
Not everyone can do that.
“I can’t just walk out the door” the woman from the audience said to me.
“I know, I know” I move in closer to her.
“Can I come to the workshop on Monday?” she asks.
“Of course!” I say gently.
“Please do come, I would love to see you there.”
Oh yes, there is a major thunderstorm in her life, I can tell.
We must make the rain in peoples lives, be it domestic violence, mental illness, homelessness, burn victims, or what not, our business, because it is our business.
At the end of the day, sanding alone in the rain is horrible.
If we join and take someone’s hand we can help him or her to weather the storm.
In my daughter’s room in Los Angeles there is a poster that says,
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.”
I remember the day we stood in the store and got it.
She must have been about 10 years old, and she looked at me and said,
“I like that mommy, it’s so smart, if you dance, than you forget that you are wet.”
“You don’t forget” I said to my sweet girl, “I think, you just feel better.”
We can't control the rain, but we can try to choose how to deal with it.
And above all, we all MUST be a shelter from the storm, for whoever needs it.
That’s what it is really about, and that is what I try to teach.
I said it at the end of the show.
“If I moved you today, if the voices of the women I bring here tonight eco in you head and touched you, tomorrow do something.”
“Make a donation to the local shelter.”
“Give of your time.”
“Donate your old clothes”
“Pass along some of your kids toys.”
Help these women dance in the rain.