The Reconsideration of Rain

It’s one of those days when you must embrace record rain or surrender.

You can walk into it, like I did earlier, and reconsider this and that. Rain is good for the act of reconsideration, an act of the heart and mind that feels like a lost American art these days. Doesn’t everyone want someone to reconsider them? Someone even wrote a song about it…and Warren Zevon covered it well.

This kind of rain requires some good rain reading material. Of course, in moments like these, I go to Simenon and Maigret and immortal lines of rain from an author who never treats rain with cliché. It is a character in his murder mysteries.

I have only a few copies of my rain book left. I wonder who is reading it?

I much prefer the phrase, “It came out of the rain,” rather than, “It came out of the blue.”

There is tiny river running outside my window. I just saw a garden gnome float by.

I can’t get the image of a homeless man I saw recently out of my mind. There he was, in the shoulder of a rural road, miles from anywhere dry, standing under some conifers, it was raining with prodigious force, and he wore nothing but a blue tarp and yellow booties. He posed like Christ on the cross.

I set aside Maigret and return to Jill Lepore’s magisterial new one-volume history of the United States, These Truths. I’ve read dozens of these kind of American histories, but hers is unique. She doesn’t come out and say it directly, because professional historians aren’t accustomed to making huge metaphorical leaps in their thinking when it comes to understanding our nation’s past, but I intuit she knows slavery, which rooted and prospered in the sunny climes of the South, led to a nakedly unjust Constitution that favored the South and built them into a power disproportionate to their free peoples, an equal power that still undermines our nation today. We’ve yet to truly live up to the ideal. Not even close. I wonder if I’ll see another effort in my lifetime? I so wanted to Lepore to digress and think: Had there been rainy climes in our South, no slavery, a better nation. Had we been a nation of rain instead of the sun, well, things would have turned out much differently, much better. No sun. No slavery. Rain. Equality.