For The Love Of Rain

Let them call me rebel and welcome it, I feel no concern from it. But I should suffer the misery of devils, if I were to make a slave of my soul…

Allow me to say a few things before this rain is made a utility that they plan and distribute for a price.  By “they” I am speaking of those who do not understand that rain is a celebration, those who do not appreciate its gratuity, those who think that what carries no cost has no value, that what cannot be sold as material is not real, and that the only way to make something real is to place it on the market as something material.  

Yes, the time will come when they try and sell you even your rain, such is capitalistic theory. At the moment it is still free, and I am in it, dancing. I celebrate its gratuity and its worthlessness all the same.

This rain I am in is not like the rain that falls in the city. It fills my surroundings with an immeasurable and confused sound. It shields the slanted roof of my home with His persistent and controlled rhythm. And I listen, because it reminds me again and again that the whole world is run by rhythms I have yet to learn how to recognize, rhythms that are not those of man but of Him, the Engineer.

As I meander through this rain, sloshing through this deserted night, I stumble upon a temporary shelter as the night has fallen dark. The rain has walled me in with an immense virginal myth, a whole new world of meaning, of secrecy, of silence, of rumor.

Just to think of it: all its noiseless speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging no one, soaking the parched ground, drenching the trees, filling the streams in this wild with rejuvenated water, washing out the dwellings that have stripped the wild of its heart.

What a thing to be here dancing in this rain, in the forest, in the darkness of night, cherished by this wonderful, dripping, perfectly innocent speech, the most gentle comfort in the world, with the kind of talk it makes alone all over the ridge lines, upon the edges of my mind, and through the conversations of streams throughout the hollows of my soul.

No one started it, and no one is going to stop it. It will speak as long as it wants, after all, this rain was of the Engineer.  As long as it speaks I am going to listen.  

But I am also going to sleep, because here in this wilderness I have learned how to sleep again beneath the dampness of a dripping wet lullaby. Here I am not unknown. The trees I know, the rain I have known, and this darkness of night, I have known for too long. I shutter my eyes and sink into the stream of this rain soaked darkness of which I am part, and the stream goes on with me in it, for I am not unknown to it.

I have become unknown to the noise of the city, to the greed of machinery that knows nothing of sleep, the hum of power that swallows up the night. Where rain, sunlight and darkness are held in contempt, I cannot sleep. In my older age, I have found it harder to trust anything that has been fabricated to replace the true nature of my wild.

I carry zero confidence in places where the air is first fouled and then cleansed, where the water is first treated with something deadly and then deemed “safe” with other poisons in the name of greedy filth.  

All of this is the asphyxiation of a myth. The city lives its own myth by choking the reverence out of nature. Instead of waking up and silently existing, they prefer a material and fabricated dream. They have constructed a world outside the world, against the world, a world of mechanical fiction, which condemn nature and seek to only use it up, thus making it harder for nature to renew itself, and that of man.

Of course this celebration of rain cannot be stopped, not even in the city. The woman from the deli scampers along the crosswalk with a newspaper disguised as an umbrella, scared to get wet. Men traipsing down the road like ballerinas, so not to get their little loafers soaked.

The streets, suddenly washed, become transparent and alive. The noise of traffic gives way to the splashing of splendid fountains. Kids bouncing from one endless pool to the next, not a care in the world. Children are well aware of the celebration of rain. As there was nothing more important than in the moment of a sudden rainstorm through the eyes of a child. The joy soaks through their souls and gives life to their innocent and blooming imaginations.

One would think that the city folk in a rainstorm would have no choice but to take into account the nature of its fresh wetness, its baptism and its renewal. And they themselves would assume that noise is left to the wilder ones, the country boys. To the city folk, the rain brings no renewal, renewal can only be found in the forecast of tomorrow, and the glint upon the windows of buildings will then have nothing to do with the new and blue sky.

“Reality” will remain somewhere inside those walls, counting itself while selling itself with frantic and complex determination. Meanwhile the disgruntled patrons scatter through the rain bearing the load of their obsession, with more vulnerability than before, but still barely aware of the reality of rain.

They do not see the light that shines with reflective beauty from the mirrored puddle, and which they themselves are walking on water with the same stars as above, or that they are running through the sky to catch a ride, on their way to a shelter somewhere in the Associated Press of an irritated social life.

But they do know that there is dampness abroad. Perhaps they even feel it. I cannot say. Their complaints are more often than not, mechanical and lacking spirit or soul, but every once in awhile comes a smile…

In Closing

Naturally no one may believe the things said about this rain today. It all implies one simple lie: only material is real. That weather, not being planned, not being fabricated, is impertinent, a blankness on the expression of progress. (Just a simple little operation, and its whole wet mess may become relatively tolerable. Let business make the rain that will give meaning to its meaning.)

They sit in their city and criticize the hardships of rain and of nature. I sit in my own little piece of wild and wonder about a world that has both, progressed and regressed, and vice versa. I have at one point or another guessed that I am part of what I thought I must escape. But I’ve learned upon this arid path that it is not a matter of escaping. It is not even a matter of speaking with a boisterous voice. It is a matter of soaking it all up and waiting til the surroundings in which I sit needs it to grow.

Industry is here. Utility is also here and both are here to stay. When the utilities of PG&E illuminate and warm my home, it is no one’s fault but my own. I admit it. I no longer kid anyone, not even myself, they keep me safe from their wild out here in my wild. They will suffer not from my bluff, and I will pay them their patronizing complacencies in the silence of this rainfall.

I will let them think they know what I am doing here in my own little wild. Let them call me a…

Suddenly, a light flips on, and behind it, scampering footsteps follow in the same delicate pattern that pitter-patters much like this rain. They fancy their way upon the window seal of my old broken soul.

They came heavy at first, but oh so gentle did they turn as genuine happiness approached, the kind of happiness that God’s magic was made of. The boy, for whom some of these words today have been written, was now awake, so therefore I must, we must, escape these thoughts, as it’s time to get him ready for the day.

And from his wise little mouth, the first spoken thoughts of this morning poured upon me like a stream of dampened light. A light so simple and pure, it put the darkness to bed.

“Dad, are we gonna play in the rain again today?”

“Soon enough kid, soon enough”

—BeLove

Depths Of Discovery

Without leaving himself, one grows with the vastness of the cosmic scope within; and yet: the farther one goes, the less he knows.

“Backwards and downwards,” the laughter and then the deep breaths, for long durations there had been nothing else. These were the only pieces of me left intact, or that I was able to find in my animated demeanor.

I sometimes felt like a memory of three words, carried by a broken down glory on the back of an empty pack of cigarettes. But it sufficed. The experience of life has been both essential and delightful in regards to the growth of me.

Over in the corner, on the fringe of awareness, the light still lingers; and in a flash of two memories colliding, my sensitivity to the light has somehow improved. 

In the beginning brightness had been all over the place and everywhere the same. It was a shining spectrum of silence, boundless but uniform. Essentially, it was without flaw, still indeterminate. And yet, while It remains all that It has forever been, it was as though the gentleness of bliss had been limited by the interpretation of an activity.

Poetry. 

The first time I finagled with the rhythm of rhyme, I felt like my soul was bouncing all over the place. Funny enough, it was when I first stepped off a plane in Colorado with the deepest cut by my side some twenty years ago. It’s true—every movement in genuine love is poetic, if not hallucinoginec.

This is how I behaved over the next few years. I was determined to stabilize myself from this exercise in spiritual growth and self-recollection from the grip of an adolescent lesson layered with love and loss, all the while doing it with a smile. I felt that the aim of poetry would saturate the deserted depths of my arid soul, only to revive the active connection between my self and the divine powers that Be. I felt that it helped to heal. I realized that it was, as it is that follows.

Poetry is an activity that is at the same time a pattern, a kind of living lattice of discovery; universal, infinitely complex, and exquisitely delicate.  A vast web of knots and divergences, of parallels and spirals, of intricate figures and their curiously distorted projections—all shining, active, and most importantly alive.

It was from then on, that first written poem, that I wanted to drape the world in the radiance of poetry, but I didn’t have enough material, nor the confidence to boot. My first attempt ended somewhere back in my twenties between my head and my heart. Sure poetry was lovely and generous, with its fields of gold. Still its goodness was the sort of goodness society had long considered out of date, so I gave it all up.

Besides, the radiance I wanted to deal in was an antiquated kind and in short supply throughout this shallow world. What I needed was a newfound radiance altogether, something a little more gorgeous and chivalrous that wouldn’t allow my imagination the time to pine away in the darkness of me. My imagination had to assert itself so that the art manifested the inner powers of my own nature, that which is love.

Without leaving himself, one grows with the vastness of the cosmic scope within; and yet: the farther one goes, the less he knows.

Then I found it again, that need for poetry, out west, a few years ago, this time it hit pretty close to home.

Does poetry have the power to pick you up in California and land you in sunny Salt Lake City a few hours later? Could it validate the distance between ourselves, and that, which lies ahead of us? Some think it has no such power. And nowadays public interest only grew wherever power did.

In the days of old, poetry was a force to be reckoned with. The poet had real romantic strength in the material world. Of course, the material was different then. Souls were still being wrapped in the fabric of divine magic, right up until the Industrial age slithered its greed around the heart and soul of mankind.

The romantic poets of society’s influence have always done what they were expected to do, they sprinkle beauty amongst the chaos, only to eventually give in to the pursuit. They chase ruin and death harder than they chase women. They set their talent ablaze, followed by a mental decline just before they reach home, and they dive headfirst down a slippery slope that slides upon a watery grave.

No, society is proud of its dead poets. Most everyone takes tremendous satisfaction in the poet’s self-taught testimony that reality is too tough, too big, too damn much; too awfully rigid with an expectation that bounces off the emotional checks and balances of a soul.

It is often thought that to be a poet is a school thing, a skirt thing, a church thing. The weakness of an unhinged spiritual prowess was proved in the childishness, madness, drunkenness, and despair of such marvelous martyrs.

So poets are loved, but loved because they just can’t make it here in the real world. We exist to loosen the grip on the feelings of experience by unraveling the tangled knots of life. We justify the cynicism of the hard-hearted men who say, “If I weren’t such a corrupt, unemotional piece of work, I couldn’t get through these times either. Look at these good, tenderhearted men, the best of us. The poor bastards perished by their own weakness, crazy sons of bitches.”

All the same, the desire of a poet will at times intersect at the corner of contradiction within himself. Maybe it’s an urge to be magical and cosmically expressive, shadowed articulate; to be able to approximate anything. Maybe it’s to be wise, philosophical, to find that common ground between the beauty of words, spirituality, love, and science, to prove that the animated emotions of the spiritual imagination are just as potent as any well-oiled war machine. Maybe it’s to believe in an ability to free and bless humankind with an unconditional love that spills from the light in the sky above.

But all the same, there in the shadows of his drive and desire, hides an inkling of expectation to be famous, and in this expectation of fame, there always hides a muse, a woman, there was always a woman behind the scenes.

Of course, it always came down to women. Freud himself believed that fame was pursued for the sake of the women. But the women were pursuing something else.

Everyone of us, both man and woman alike, are always looking for the real thing after being had and had by all the phonies. So we pray for the real thing and we rejoice when the real thing comes along. That’s why the world will always romanticize its love for poets. This is the bittersweet truth of poetry.

“Upwards and forwards,” I say silent to myself shadowed by a sudden glorified onslaught of distant laughter.

Once more a few lit fragments of self fall back to me—the same as they always were, but in some way associated, this time, with a particular light in the bright lattice of an intricate relationship, located somewhere in between what is right and what is wrong in the middle of me. It situates itself approximately on one of those little infinite nodes of intersecting alignment that shines from the core of all souls. I believe we can all agree from where in which I believe this light shines.

This pattern of intersection projects itself from another pattern, and within the other pattern I find another, larger fragment of me—a long lost memoir as a boy, scrambling out of the puddles of an adolescent ditch, wet and muddy to my knees in childlike poetry.  I shout at the shadow of a man above, “jump you chicken shit, just jump.” And as the shadow jumps, I hear a faint howl echo with laughter.

An indeterminable voice within my immediate surroundings introduces itself as gentle as possible to my contemplative state, startling both me, and my thought process awake.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated and fasten your seatbelts, flight attendants please see that all tray tables are folded forward and seat backs are in the upright position, and that all overhead baggage is put away and bins are secure. We are clear for takeoff.”

Yes, it is true that a poet cannot perform societal open heart surgery, nor can he heave a bird of pewter steel thirty thousand feet in the air at seven hundred and seventy seven miles per hour, only to land soft, gentle and safe in good ole sunny Utah.

But he can damn sure die trying.

—BeLove