Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Did All

I did all I could
I did it right there and then
I've already confessed
No need to confess again

Bob Dylan, Thunder on the Mountain

* * *

I was driving home last night from work - a massive, black and roiling thunderstorm was hanging over my town. I could see the steady staccato of lightning moving between the clouds and stabbing its way to the ground. There was no where to go but straight into it. Not that I would have missed it for the world. I had the windows down and my arm out the window trying to reach out and grab me some of that storm. At just that moment Bob comes blaring out of the stereo singing about thunder on the mountain and I laughed my fucking ass off as the rain fell like a sheet of broken glass.

* * *

There are two things about that storm and Bob and their connection to the fucked life that are rattling around my brain.

First, Bob.

One of the habits of fucked up fuckers is the masochistic pleasure they derive from endlessly blaming themselves for the fucked nature of their lives. They become stultified in the face of their mistakes. They are cognizant that their choices have fucked them, but can't quite see that different choices will unfuck them, and instead beat their breast moaning mea culpa, mea culpa.

One confession will do. Holding onto and repeating a confession of one's failings is antithetical to purpose of confession (to yourself, your church, your mother, whom ever), which is freedom, which is letting the weight drop from your shoulders. Rewinding the effort keeps you locked, keeps you fucked. If you've already confessed, there's no need to confess again.

Trust me, and if you can't trust me, trust Bob.

Next: What Storms Mean.

I have always believed in storms. As a punk-assed kid I used to run outside when it rained, and if there was the prospect of a tornado - stillness, a sick and orange sky - I was outside waiting for the winds to increase. I wanted to feel that power and let it move through me. Later, after studying literary theory, I added another element to the elements: rain and storms meant change.

Whenever rain, sleet, snow, storm came through I'd claim that storm for myself. The weather was asking me: what's changing, Mark? What needs to change? I believed those storms were sent just for me, just to comfort me, just to change me.

And then came last night's storm.

The clouds were low, heavy, and boiling - turning in on themselves over and over, and I smiled to myself because some positive change had just came my way and this storm was my reward, a reminder to keep the changes coming, tumbling one after the other. And then I looked at those clouds again: impassive and powerful, beyond concern for me or anything but the force of lightning.

And then the metaphor extended itself.

While I always believed the storms were for me I was only fractionally right. Storms are change - they cleanse the sky, and from time to time tear up the ground. There are no human values or virtues in storms for destruction is a stripe of change as well. What I realized then, and what I want you to know now is this: the storm sets change in motion and it is up to you to use for your benefit. If I believed the storm was bringing change to my life, then it did. That is what I brought to the storm: the willingness and desire for change.

And there's this, too. I've been so fucked for so long that I've needed every storm in my life.

How about you? What does rain mean to you?

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