The Soggy Question.
Trust is a funny thing. It seems friendly, open, easy… but really I think it’s a tough cookie. It’s all in or nothing, balls to the wall, get in or you’re out… you either leap or you don’t, you either trust or you don’t… it’s hard news, at least for me.
I think I trust… so there you have it… if I have to think it maybe I’m not doing it. I trust my husband full out, I trust my kids all in, I trust my friends – Ok I trust some of my friends – completely… but trusting the universe? trusting an unseen spiritual power? ehhhh I sort of hedge my bets.
Trusting You Won’t Get All Wet
Cut to the Rain room. It’s an exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. It’s a big room with hundreds of shower heads on the ceiling pouring water out onto a floor of drains. The point is that you are supposed to enter this room and take a step out under the hundreds of shower heads and a computer sees you and the rain stops where you are standing, so you can walk patiently across this rain room and stay completely dry as you trust that you won’t get wet.
Well… that’s a problem for me. Even the idea of getting wet upsets me. I’ve never liked getting wet or damp in the world. Really, I don’t. I don’t sit on the front seat at the Jurassic Park ride, I am way far back from the splash zones at water fun parks, I even avoid those cute dancing fountains at Universal in case one goes haywire and squirts me. So when I decide to take my family to the rain room I’m gonna go prepared. The choice? I wear a rain slicker… I figure, “Sure I trust that the water will stop, yes, of course, but in case it DOESN’T I’ve got it covered.”
We arrive at the rain room – the four of us – my two kids and my husband… and, wow, that room is kind of amazing and intimidating… it’s big and painted black and it is pouring in there… really coming down… hard. The sound is incredible and the smell reminds me of a summer rain in the Bronx where I grew. And it’s really, really wet. The four of us stand there on the outside of the wall of water, take a deep breath and my daughter steps…
And the rain stops…
And she continues with another step and the rain stops where she is… again. Beautiful. She continues gently walking through the manmade storm. My son steps and the rain stops and he waves his arms and the rain seems to dance with his movements. I laugh. My husband is in now too. The three of them are moving through the rain as if they have magical invisible umbrellas… I watch in awe.
I zip up my rain slicker and I step.
AND THE RAIN CONTINUES.
Wait a minute… I step back out of the rain and I timidly just hold my hand out into the water wall. And the rain continues… It does not stop. I am dripping.
I watch longingly at my family… moving with ease through the drops, completely dry in the eye of the storm. I want to join them.
Maybe I have to be bold… I step out and walk right to where they are. I come to their dry little circle and I am soaked. Really.
They move off and the rain starts on me again. I just don’t understand it… I see I little LACMA guard making her way towards me. She too is completely dry. She gets to me and says “It’s the raincoat.” “What?” “The raincoat-the computers can’t see you to stop the rain.” “Huh?” “Take off your raincoat.” She must be crazy! “I don’t like getting wet!”
She starts to unzip my raincoat, kind of like my mom did when I was little, and oddly I let her. I slip out of the slicker. “Now go”, she says. And she walks away and I step and the rain miraculously stops. It is so lovely. So sweetly simple. When the rain stops you feel giddy, light hearted. I love it.
And as I move through the rain… I realize – I tried to protect myself from discomfort… I did not let go… although I said I trusted, although I wanted to trust, I actually did not … I brought a rain coat… and trust – true, openhearted, possibly white knuckled – TRUST – was all that parted the storm.
Alison Martin -- wife, mom, Emmy-award winning actress, writer, chocoholic. Bronx Italian, daughter of Pultizer Prize winning reporters, who also identifies as L.A. Irish. Shout outs: Dan, Emilia, Brady, pooches - LuLu & Ted, friends, Mother Earth, serendipity, peace, VIPHS, Boldfaced Secret, living life like your socks feel real good.
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