Koinonia (koinonia) wrote,


I don't think I've ever lived in a place where rain was a gentle thing. In California and Arizona, it made flash floods, these great, muddy sheets of water that looked like cocoa being churned in a blender. In England, in the fens, there were the gales that came in off the North sea, with winds that made the clouds scud in front of the moon, and the landscape look like a backdrop for Jane Eyre. Then we came to Florida..and the rains that come down like the closing of a door. The water sheets down here, long spasms of rain that pound down to the London Symphony accompaniment of thunder and lightning.

I used to go out in it a lot more, letting it soak my clothes and my hair and run cold over my back and arms. I liked the way it made the air smell, and the way that it felt when I hit my face. I didn't care for the fact that it made my hair greasy or my face feel like it needed a wash, but that was all right. Worth it for the smells and the coolness and the feel that I'd pulled off a couple of layers of insulation.

Now..I don't go out as much in it, just to be going out. Maybe it was one of those things about being a teenager, you have to be unique. You have to figure things out by yourself, even if someone's figured them out for you. I felt that if I was going to be a writer I had to *suffer* or something.

I didn't write much, really.

I wrote a lot of what my friend Suzanne calls 'crimson death poetry'. I wrote long, complicated rants about how life was intrinsically unfair and brutal and uncaring. Which isn't to say it isn't. It is. But I bled when I'd never been wounded.

I did some good things then..discovered Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. I wanted to save the world. I wanted to make a difference.

Now..I don't know. Maybe you can make a difference in a much smaller way. Maybe you can change the world just by being completely yourself. But it's so subtle, and so delicate that you can't see it yourself. Maybe by scrubbing the rust away, you reveal a lot more than surfaces.

Is that what being grown up and middle aged means? Knowing that you don't know any more? Hoping that what you do means something, that it's enough?

It doesn't seem very much like wisdom.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment