Behind The Rain

I am told that in dreams water usually means strong emotion. As a writer, this makes sense to me. In stories, and particularly in films, water is a sure sign that our characters have reached a moment of emotional release. How many romantic comedies have ended with our hero (or sometimes heroine) racing through the rain to reach his (or her) beloved? How many “I love yous” have been confessed through rain-streaked lips? It just works, doesn’t it? However, add thunder and lightening and the rain becomes a threat. Now we find ourselves in the emotional storm, buffeted by winds, cowed by sudden, heavenly crashing. If you put a character in a storm, he or she is in trouble. If you put that same character in a lighted house by a fire while a storm thunders outside, he or she may be safe, but trouble rattles at the windows.

It is probably futile to try to write against these tropes. Rain alone is a bit more flexible, as it can also mean boredom to the child home alone, or irritation to the businessman ducking into the laundromat—but it’s going to mean something. Pity the sun so taken for granted. If no weather is mentioned, it is more or less sunny. Wind at least means change.

The sun will perhaps always be taken for granted because it is that against which change and action is written. As Einstein said, darkness does not actually exist; it is merely the absence of light. I think of this sometimes when I am with friends suffering in their own darkness, or raging in their own storms. You don’t have to look hard, no matter how black their mental night, to see the sun within them. I know this seems Pollyanna to some, but when someone begins ranting about a hurt that will never heal, I feel as if I am listening to a child who has stepped out into the rain for the first time, and cries because the sun has been taken from the sky.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.

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