One of my favorite movie scenes is from the movie The Rose. Bette Midler is playing Janice Joplin, getting ready to go on stage. Her manager is pleading with her, “Rose, tonight please do not use the word Motherfu**rs, please Rose. We will lose our sponsors.” She’s nodding and appeasing. She’s looking incredibly accommodating. Suddenly, she’s on stage and her fans are going wild throwing roses on the stage. She looks positively transcendent, something is possessing her. She’s moving across the stage as if in flight and from her mouth, the very first words, “Hey all you Motherfu**ers….”. The crowd soars to a whole new level. It’s not defiance: she’s answering to the very thing that built it all, that drew the people, that gave her the gift, that is making the sponsors money.
Again and again, I’ve been asked to leave behind the woman in me who can’t help herself, who can’t keep her mouth shut, who despite her substance can be so very trashy. Again and again, I have asked myself what would my life be were I to do that. It would be a lot easier, there would be fewer waves for sure. I would likely be welcomed into the inner circle.
But no waves is flatline…
I would gain everything but lose the meaning.