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Learning to Dance in the Rain

Updated: Mar 31




The title is part of a quote from writer Vivian Greene -


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.


The obvious reading of it, and the one Greene meant, is to suggest the importance of finding joy in all situations, however bad those situations might be. I like that quite a bit. But for me, the rain doesn’t just represent a bad time. It’s the tears we shed, even if they are sometimes only inside.


Too, we shed those tears not just when things go wrong, but when we feel a surge of emotions - happiness, excitement, anger, on and on across the spectrum of feelings. Of course, emotions rarely go solo. They like to travel in clumps, like big ol’ tangled balls of twine, impossible to know where one strand ends, and another begins.


That’s us. Big tangled balls of string. But the world tends to be like that, so it only makes sense.


And just as the tears can be a reaction to both happy and sad times, the dances we do both help get us through some things and are a celebration of other things. Either way, they help us cope and keep moving down life’s path. Of course, it may not be actual dancing (and in my case, that’s a good thing for all involved). It could be sewing, cooking, music…


Or writing.


Now, I don’t write specifically as a coping mechanism, any more than anyone else with a creative streak necessarily does. Although it is probably in everyone’s best interest to not dig too deep into the psyche of creative folks.


But I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that while writing, emotions bubble up and make their way to the page at times.


As with any fiction writer, the stories I share are intended to engage and entertain readers in various ways. But I also hope they manage to evoke emotions in the reader. Not necessarily the same ones as someone reading the book, or even the same ones I felt writing it. Unique to them, as are all our experiences and memories.



My upcoming novel, A Parade in Every Town, has been called a quirky 'slice of life' by an early reader. Fair description, but it's more than that. At its heart, Parade is a story about living. Living with and through joy, pain, loss, and love in a world very much like our own ten-degrees-off-center one. And the people who populate Parade, and its primary setting at the Sun Market and Trailer Park, each have their own way of dancing, through good times and bad. As we all do.


So keep dancing, my friends, through sun showers and thunderstorms. I’ll be there beside you, doing my own shuffling two-step.


 

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