Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's the storm, not you, that's bound to blow away

There are days when you feel yourself sinking: the buoyancy of whatever has been "floating your boat" lately seems to have disappeared.

Okay, I can deal, you say, and then the wind begins to pick up, the storm is brewing, and you wonder again if you will survive the storm. I think we all know this feeling. And though, intellectually, we understand that it passes, we still brace against the turmoil to come, forgetting that someone has roped us to the dock and we will be safe.

I'm in rehearsals at the moment for
A Secret Garden. I had read the book as a child, of course, so I knew the plot -- roughly, at least. But the musical takes that plot and draws some wonderful larger conclusions about the garden that lives inside each of us and the possibilities for redemption of even the most pervasive sadness or depression.

And I love that it is the simplest characters to whom it falls to voice the most profound truths. My current favorite lines are from a song sung by Martha, a scullery maid:

When you see the storm is comin',
see the lightning part the skies,
It's too late to run
there's terror in your eyes,
what you do then is remember
this old thing you heard me say,
It's this storm not you,
that's bound to blow away.

Hold on,
hold on to someone standin' by,
hold on,
don't even ask how long or why,
child, hold on to what you know is true,
hold on til you get through.
child oh child,
hold on.

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