Tuesday, August 18, 2009


and the rain, 
and the rain, it will wash away the pain,
wash away uncertainty
and make me clean again.

There are few things I love more than rain; summer rain, in particular.  When the torrent starts and the world grows suddenly dark, it's like my consciousness brings my soul into focus: every edge and shadow and highlight and line of what lies somewhere between head and heart sharpens with a snap.  Sssshwap....  Good mood, bad mood, feeling ecstatic, feeling blue, whatever the overall color and cadence of life, the rain pulls out the deeper wherefores.  It triggers a rapid recognition of the connection between self and humanity at large, between self and world, between self and destiny.
Okay, that sounds crazy.
Try this on for size:
Stuck in a car when the rain came down like buckets but the sun was still shining.  Morten Lauridsen's Dirait-on playing loud loud loud.  I didn't know what the French words meant in my head, but my heart got the gist, and the tears started with just as much gusto as the storm. 
Sitting on the screen porch at home in Atlanta under the lazy ceiling fan after a day of working in the yard.  Listening to the water start to drop from the heavens to the scorching summer earth.  And inhaling that warm, unmistakable smell of hot asphalt and hot magnolia blossoms and hot wood on the deck and hot crabgrass when they're suddenly doused with rainwater.  I look across at my father sitting in the old wicker chair bought sometime in the early 90's, and painted light green by mom somewhere in the mid 90's.  And suddenly, I'm full to bursting with Home.
College dorm room, Junior Year.  No roommate tonight, but the rain will keep me company.   Push that window open as far as possible, turn off all the lights, turn on Tim McGrawand lay on top of the covers thinking about things that might be, and things that might never be, and breathe deep the uncertainty of life.  Learning to revel in uncertainty is a lesson that is hard to navigate, but of unparalleled importance.  Dreams may not always come true, but the real gem of experience is unearthed long before a positive or negative resolution.
Standing under a broken drain pipe in Sienna, willingly, foolishly, being soaked by the runoff of ancient cobblestones, hoping the Italianness will never completely dry out of my skin.
Driving into the middle of the marshes in Madison, CT, screaming and giggling with two good friends who each see a different side of me, but each know me.  Watching the lightning reach down to the sea from the sky and thinking "this isn't safe, this isn't safe, this isn't safe...but this is fantastic..."
Standing beneath the train tracks in Manayunk, seeking refuge from the freak rainstorm, posing for a picture with the kind of friend who doesn't care if you look like a wet rat - she only sees the you that glitters.
Running through the house and slamming shut all the windows, then returning to bed and leaving the window that aligns with the bedside open just a few inches.  Lay a towel on top of the mattress to catch the rain water that manages to squeeze past the screen, and lay an arm along the window, so that the filtered rain makes little splishes on my skin, washing away the uncertainties of yesterday, so that tomorrow my soul, like the sky, will be shining and clear.

photo: found online: Yauheni Attsetski

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