I received an email the other day from a reader of the rain book. He had just ordered the second-to-last copy of Of Walking in Rain that I have in my possession. A few are still out there in bookstores and rare book sites.
The rain book keeps on raining goodness to me. I never had larger national aspirations for it. It was a pure PNW book. I thought I’d share this email because it’s wonderfully written and touched me deeply and arrived at a time to rain away the blues.
Here it is:
couple years ago I was having a rough time in my life romantically
and in my career. I took myself to a little hotel/cabin/trailer park
near Long Beach, WA, called The Sou’wester the weekend after
Thanksgiving to get away, turn off my phone, get some work done,
contemplate the vast gray expanse of the pacific ocean and western
sky, alone. I stayed in a trailer. The book was on the bedside
I don’t pick up books in this way if I have never heard of them. I have a terrible habit of reading, by which I mean not doing as much as I should, as much as I like, or as much as is good for me. But the title and I think it’s simplicity and poetic ring, along with my aim for the weekend (getting wet in the rain and surf and dripping stubby coastline firs), reached out to me. Or I grasped for it, a companion.
As I remember it, the weekend was one of those wonderfully variable and tumultuous affairs, not unknown on the PNW coast. You can get 4 seasons of weather in an hour and a half on the coast. Every one of my walks seemed to be punctuated by a line from your small book. A dark battalion of clouds barely being fended off by a champagne sunset. Dark brooding masses of falling water and vapor. Wind forming thousands of tiny teeth in the sand.
I finished the book in a day and it stuck with me. I loved its brazenness. I loved its brashness. It was lofty in its goals and idiosyncratic in its telling. And fun. Your book caught me right when I needed it. I needed the laughs, I needed the perspective, I needed the kick out of the door and into the rain. And I appreciate it. And I appreciate your asking.
My sweetheart’s birthday is coming up. We spend a lot of time on the coast with our kids and alone. Alone really means with her dogs, chasing them up and down the beach in rain coats and boots, keeping them out of the rotting carcasses, endlessly throwing sticks, walking and walking, hand in hand. I thought it would be a fun book to read to her. Moody books are fun to read, they give you lots to work with. I read to my kids. She is the first sweetheart I have read aloud to. I love it. She loves it. That having been said, the book isn’t for her. It’s for me. To read to her. And to have around. My career is starting to turn around again, so it’s time I bought it.
Thanks for the book, Matt.