Thursday, May 26, 2005

Down Came the Rain

I like the rain. I’m weird that way. When I was a kid, I used to stand in the middle of a rain storm until my mother realized where I was and dragged my butt back into the house. I would hope for thunder and jagged lightening to streak the night sky. There’s something about that elemental threat that brings out a melancholy in me I find hard to resist.

Most of my life is fairly sunny. I have a wonderful family. Two parents who have stayed together through all of life’s ups and downs, creating a stable, loving home for myself and my siblings. They brought me up to believe I can do anything I want and they support my writing as fervently as I do. As for the siblings, I lucked out there too. My brother—one year and three days older than me—we were raised like twins. And like twins have a strong, unspoken bond. He’s my rock. He’s the one I lean on, even when he doesn’t notice, the one whose disapproval would sting the most. He’s strong and steady and wickedly intelligent. He tells me stories and makes them come to life with a vividness that makes me envious. My little sister, five years my junior, is the exact opposite. She’s the diva. That should be a capital “D”. Probably a capital “IVA” as well. She’s a Leo, it comes natural. She’s a showman, a star. She throws herself into life without a plan, without a foundation. She reminds me life is not a spectator sport. Both make me laugh so hard I fear my spleen will rupture from the prolonged exposure. Even my best friend, my soul-sistah, the one who has stood by me through thick and thin for 30 years now is beyond compare. She’s the yin to my yang, the one that understands the things in my head and yet who I still manage to surprise every now and again, reminding me that even after a lifetime spent finishing each other’s sentences, there’s always something new to discover. And like my sister, she flies by the seat of her pants. She's the spontaneous one, I’m the planner. Yin. Yang. Grasshopper. Ant.

So you see, by all accounts, my life is a sunny day at the beach. I have my family, my friends, I have my health, a roof over my head and the brains and ability to keep it there. I have a passion in my life with writing and a talent to go with it.

And yet. Yet, I can never shake this unrelenting desire to dive deep into the darkness. The murk. The ugly places most people prefer to shy away from. I like to crawl into it and wallow around, get it all over me like a thick, black ooze you can’t wash off. Then I like to bring it back to the everyday and pass it on to my characters, like a purging, from me to them.

That’s why I like the rain. It brings on the melancholy, and from there, it’s a short ride to the murk. A quick hop, skip and a jump I can make in my sleep. I write better when I’m melancholy. I find it easier to slip into my characters heads and hearts, glide in unnoticed and have a look around, poke to see where it hurts, find the soft spots so I can make them bleed. I love causing my characters pain. The deep, emotional kind that you wonder if you’ll ever recover from. The kind that causes a deep, soul-wrenching ache you don’t think will ever go away. There’s a strange kind of peace in it. I relish the dark underbelly of things. Maybe it’s my Scorpio side. Maybe I’m just unhinged.

Either way, I like the rain.


Maxx said...

Okay first of all, you made me cry at my desk. I don't know whether to slap you or hug you. I'm thinking both would be fun.

I don't know what it is about rolling around in the deep dark stank but there's something inspiring about diving into the abyss. I read a quote from another author- can't remember from who or where I saw it- but they were talking about how most writers need to be depressed to write well. I've even read that about musical artists. I read just recently how someone was concerned what kind of music was going to come from our fav band now that the lead singer has a kid and seems happier than he's been... well... ever.

I don't know what it is, but there's obviously something about angst that tickles the creative gene. Some of my best stuff has come after attending funerals.

ces said...

oh mr sun, sun
mr golden sun
please shine down on me!!


Kelly said...

Sorry bud, no tears intended. Come, wallow in the stank with me.