I Bless The Rains


Do you ever feel that thunderstorms were made a part of the universe just so it would be more spectacular?

It’s storming here, and there is some powerful thunder shaking my walls. Honestly the computer shouldn’t be on, but I’m a ninny so here I am. I had a moment while sitting here where I thought to myself, “Does thunder sound the way it does due to natural law, or were natural laws written such that thunder sounds sublime?” I have all kinds of weird little thoughts like that, all the time.

Since I mention the word sublime, let’s talk about the Beautiful and the Sublime for a moment. Dictionary.com uses this definition for sublime:

2. impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.

A hundred or two years ago, there was a sharp demarcation between the Beautiful and the Sublime. Sublime things were not considered “beautiful,” they were in their own category. Lonesome craggy cliffs, windswept views from mountain peaks, thunderstorms, such things were considered sublime. The context has been lost; I myself can hardly call up such an image in my mind without calling it “beautiful” now. I guess the point is, sublime things sometimes give me faith in some form of higher power existing.

You may note that sublime things are sometimes dangerous; I think this adds to the sense of awe and power, and makes one just a little bit less likely to call it “beautiful” because they are afraid of it. One of my weird specific examples is Saturn, the planet. At a distance as a small image, it’s kinda neat and funky-looking. If you’ve ever seen a very large image of Saturn though, something about the rings begins to scare me just a little, like I’m getting too close to it. I had such an encounter when I played the video game Freelancer and flew pretty close to a planet with rings. At a distance it was neat, but as I got closer I felt an ominous dread start to creep over me. I have no idea why; I think this is one of my brushes with the sublime. Large images of Saturn still do this to me.

I’m not scared of thunderstorms, but I do find them breathtaking, awe-inspiring… one might say sublime. I can’t say for sure that they were placed here for our benefit, but a part of me likes to believe that yes, it is even so.

booming loud, the thunder quakes
as all about the bedroom shakes
no spring drizzle on window pane:
our thunderstorm, our summer rain

the winds are howling ’round the eaves
your hair is damp and clogged with leaves
we both consent to wonder, pain:
our thunderstorm, our summer rain

against the wind and fury ‘n mud
we both collapse when comes the flood
to wash us clean for autumn’s mane:
our thunderstorm, our summer rain

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