Friday, October 17, 2008

Brains and Rain

I think I feel like being lyrical today. Either that or the stark contrast of my very sort of left-brained job is leaving me empty of spontaneity and creativity. I was supposed to be born in March under a much more 'creative' sign but was born prematurely in January and fell under Capricorn instead. I think this might have made me a bit confused- I'm supposed to be very logical and organized but also love to write and make things up. I even took a quiz here for fun: and discovered that I am 53% right brained and 47% left brained. So thus, I supposedly use both sides of my brain. I just think there might be a big gap in the middle and this is where all useful facts and figures go and are replaced, instead, by a horribly unuseful portion that retains pop culture facts that have little bearing on life whatsoever. Trust me...I can still name all the original members of Def Leppard but ask me who the governer of my new home state, Ohio, is, even though I read it on the State sign every time I leave the state to visit my family in Indiana, and I am completely lost., I started todays blog because I realized how much I miss rain. I've been living in So. Cal. for a little under eight years and it rarely rains there. It does rain sometimes, usually between January and April. Sometimes this rain is so heavy, the streets flood and the freeways become like skating rinks because the nine-months of oil and grime have built up and finally get the chance to rise to the surface of the road. Good news for the cleanliness of the asphalt but not so much for drivers. But it doesn't rain much there. And I have missed rain so much. Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of sun too- I'm no vampire. But I love contrast- sometimes people just need rain. They don't even know it but they do. It's for those days in which you feel all messy inside and out, the days in which you spend twice as long in front of the mirror, everyone tells you that you look good and yet you feel like you're under a cloud. There's an episode of a rather silly, rather awesome episode of the Flumps, a British puppet show from my youth. In the episode, Perkin, the oldest son of the Flumps, feels all day that he's under a rain cloud and is in a foul mood. His little brother, Pootle, tries hard to make the cloud go away, chasing it, tricking it, etc. Yet nothing works until something makes Perkin laugh so hard that the cloud goes away. (side note, saying "Pootle" still makes me laugh like I'm five).

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes, even though it may seem bad, we all need those clouds. We need those clouds to rain because then it makes us appreciate the sun or, in Perkin's case, the chance to laugh. Granted, Perkin laughed at the fact that there was a turnip stuck in his Grandpa's Flumpophone (the Flump version of a French Horn/saxophone combo- I think it was a Flumpophone but it was something like that, anyway) but the thing is, he laughed. It's a simple thing but, because it chased the cloud away, it meant something. It meant something that Pootle wanted to help cheer up Perkin. It mean something that Perkin realized that sometimes, there are clouds that loom over us and seem like they're never going to go away but, when they do, he realized how nice it was for the sun to be shining and the cloud to be gone.

For me, rain is more of a cleansing thing. It washes away the dirt and grime and gives the world a chance to take a deep breath and escape indoors for a while. It gives me an excuse to curl up with a mug of tea and do a jigsaw, or write, or watch an endless marathon of bad t.v. or movies. It gives me a chance to not feel guilty that I can't enjoy the pretty day outside. It lets me recharge and renew something, no matter how small, inside me. I've always found that my writing is better when it rains, particularly when I'm writing a dark, sad or angry scene. Have you ever tried to kill a character you love when it's sunny and beautiful outside? Not easy. For me, it's not possible. It tends to rain when I kill characters. That'll be another blog, some other time. But regardless, if I love a character enough, I can't make the sun shine when he dies. It's not fair. I'm ok killing minor characters on a sunny day, of course but not the ones who are deep inside me, whose voice is really telling the story.

Since I've moved to Ohio, it's rained once. I've been here over three weeks. It wasn't even a good, heavy rain. It was a mist that lasted a couple of hours. It was enough then but now I'm missing it. And though people keep telling me to be careful what I wish for, that rain (and snow) will come soon enough, I can't wait. I can't wait to curl up and hear the rain and wind blow against my windows and doors, wrap myself up in my oversized-cardigan with my hands curled around a cup of steaming tea and know that when the rain is gone and the sun comes back, the edges of the world will look a little crisper and brighter, the air fresh and new again.

It's one of the many reasons I left the washed-out, cement ridden world of L.A. for the quiet peace of the Midwest. Bring on the rain, I say, bring it on!

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