Sunday, April 28, 2013


I am a rainy creature. This morning the rain was coming down hard enough to sound like pebbles on the roof --- a soothing, relaxing sound that seduced me into staying in bed far longer than I should have. Inside the air was crisp and cool when I got out from under the blankets; outside everything was all a mist, the rain having subsided to almost nothing.

I love the way the tree trunks and branches turn shiny black with the rain, causing the new leaves to really pop against them in contrast --- not quite a spring green, but a soft yellow-green with a hint of the gray from the sky. The sky itself is rubbed out like an unfinished pastel drawing: a smudge, a word unspoken, emptied of time. When the mist is on the mountains it looks like they are on fire ---- smoky tendrils and tentacles wisping out from between trees almost fully clothed in green and yellow.

Out into the drizzle, I can't be bothered with hats or umbrellas or waterproof coats, a legacy of my long years in California, where, if it is raining, it won't be much longer, and if it is raining, it certainly wasn't when you left the house and had access to theoretical rain supplies. Fat, infrequent drops plaster my hair to my head, bead up on my sweater but do not soak it. I go into the grocery store.

The rain is cold, the air pleasantly chilly. I approve. For me, still, a dark gray sky means cold weather and hot rain is a strange, baffling impossibility. Today, all we are missing are sugar pines and redwoods for this to be California. The light is diffuse and strangely sourceless, as if we are surrounded by scrims and light reflectors instead of the flat harsh light that casts shadows and picks out foregrounds from backgrounds. Though there is no fog, nothing is distinct. Everything runs into each other except the stark wet black trunks of trees.

I want to sit in a tent and watch the fat drops swell and plummet from the tips of pine needles. I want to slip and scramble my way up a muddy trail to a smoky, gauzy view. I want to print my fingertips in the red and smell the iron tang of clayey wet earth. I want to eat mouthfuls of mist.

Instead, I should do this huge pile of grading.

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