“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” - a million different people on the internet…
When I think of quotes that were on everyone’s Facebook status in about 2009, this one was definitely up there. On one hand, the quote is overused and idealistic. On the other hand, it is one hundred percent accurate- and a pretty good summary of this play.
This play is about having the courage to find joy during the darkest and most difficult times in life. If Tigers Be Still has one message about depression, grief and loss, it is that healing begins with finding one small piece of joy. Maybe it is a Popsicle stick house or a shoe. Each character is faced with the monstrous task of facing their demons, their inner struggles, or their tigers. Until the moment of confrontation arrives, darkness looms. After the first step is taken, darkness is not dispelled completely. However, putting your feet on the ground suddenly seems less terrifying.
I love this story for so many reasons. First of all, we see in the very first moments of the play, Sherry gathers the strength to tell her story. She lights up soon after she starts. Sometimes a weight is lifted from sharing, and sometimes the weight is lifted from knowing we are not alone. Second, everyone is at a different place on their journey. We see everyone struggle. The ending isn’t tied up perfectly, because that isn’t how real life works. But we do see everyone take a step towards hope and that, my friends, is a great thing to witness.
Here is your assignment: make a list of reasons to get out of bed. Reference it whenever your tiger feels too fast, too big, too mean, and too full of stripes.
If this task feels impossible right now: that is okay. Sometimes you just need someone to walk up the stairs and find you. You can fight your tigers together.
Depression is infectious, but so is joy.
Sarah Catcher | Guardian of ’Tigers Be Still’