Home - Writing - The Million Word March Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map

The Rain Within

Tuesday, 15th May, 2001

We seek out the light, but sometimes the sun hides the world from us. We search for meaning, but sometimes clarity comes best with the rain.

This evening, I walked a mile or two in defiant downpour and realised that my journey was through life itself. We are defined by our failures as much as our successes. All of us share both, whether large or small, and they give reason to our being. Everything we are is a product of everything we have done, everywhere we have been and everyone whose journey has touched ours for however brief a moment.

A sheen of tiny jewels covers the Yugoslavian sheep that comprise my coat. Five sixths of us is water; why not wear it outside as well as in? I decide not to shake it free, instead choosing to wear it like natural kinetic sculpture.

Why hide?

How can you truly be part of the world if you choose to hide from it, if you to choose to hide it from you?

The rain is inside us, an integral part of the makeup of each and every one of us. It is the world we inhabit when the light fails us and we feel the dark welcome, when we hear our heart fighting against the static, when our eyes glaze over and we focus on our own individual vision.

Life isn't sunshine. Sunshine is merely that part of our being that soars above the rain, joyous in its freedom, flagrant in its exposure, relentlessly dancing the dance of the undefiantly gleeful.

Neither is it rain, which pumps through our existence like the blood through our veins, perpetual motion cleansing our souls and our minds, if only we accept its gift.

Life is all these things and every shade in between. We belong to both worlds, not to one.

Only last week these branches soared bare above me; now, blooming with subtle individuality into infinite shades of green, they hang heavy with moisture, almost down to my level. Sometimes it takes the passage of time to demonstrate how close to us the world really is.

If you only look, you'll find it surrounding you, shroudlike yet distant, close but not suffocating. It infuses us, it is one with us, it defines us. If you only look. Do you dare?

Blossom falls to lie stranded in puddles: the pinks and purples of mascara-streaked tears, tears in rivers wailing luridly at the change of season.

My fellow dancers in the whirlwind of life hide behind their windscreen wipers. They tire of the dance when the tempo slows. I choose this time to revel in the vitality of my self, spreading it outward like an aura to encompass all around me. For this briefest of moments, I am the world and the world is me. Nobody else exists, ever has, ever will. I am everything.

I bought sunglasses today, under the dullest grey that a sky can be. Even the sky chooses to hide sometimes, as do we all. I wear them, momentarily, hiding my own eyes from creation and for that short moment see beyond the one way mirror of the lenses, through even the nothing sky, to something of substance beyond.

Rickie Lee Jones told us that 'there's a rainbow above us that the stormclouds hide'. Up where the sun streams down onto the flipside of this dismal curtain, those who bathe in its rays and frolic through rainbow bands cannot see we mere mortals. They cannot see the rain that flows eternally from cloud to sea to cloud.

What worth has paradise without comparison?

If you know no sun, the rain means nothing; if you know no rain, the sun is worthless. Each punctuates the other to form the eternal fluid stanza that is experience. Experience shapes our worlds and our minds. It makes us who we are.

I spend a time ingesting this liquid melancholia, holding this long moment close to seek out its truth, and I feel grateful for the glimpse into this side of me. I feel alive, vibrant, human.

I wait, contented, for the sun.

Home - Writing - The Million Word March Mail Hal C F Astell - Site Map