Here is the rain. Music. Night of water. Nice to be inside.



My first big memory of rain was when I was about seven. We were living with the Lehmans - my mom, Bo, Stoney and me. I guess we couldn’t afford our own place, or were saving some money before we moved across the country to Denver, so Mom could go to school.



It rained, a heavy, violent rain. It was summer. I ran, naked out into it. I loved it so much - dancing around, feeling the pulsing and wildness of the air. We were all hippies, so it was natural for me to be naked. The Lehmans lived on some land in the country. Big house.



When I moved to New Orleans, I got caught and soaked in the rain all the time. Felt like Heaven, letting the warm rain get me, clothes clinging to me, bedraggled hair. Sheer joy.



There were a few years, about a decade ago, when we had a drought here. I was sad, like a friend had died and it was sinking in that she wasn’t coming back. Foundations of homes cracked from the dryness. The city is built for rain.



In Colorado, snow was the falling water. Rain came in flights between the alternating clouds and sun in the summertime. Sometimes, it would lightening and not even rain, like wanting to sneeze.



Floods are real.



Patty Stallard told me about a flood that happened before I moved here. The heavy rain and rising waters forced her and her college friends to spend the entire night at Fat Harry’s. Then somebody came riding down St. Charles on a boat to get her.



Hurricanes are an event of whipping winds and the water of the oceans. The rain is secondary. The storms come all the way from Africa. Karma.



Before Katrina, hurricanes were more festive. We’d move the furniture away from the windows, take in any objects that could fly around, and stock up on batteries and wine. Now impending hurricanes horrify us.



This rain, January rain, made the town dark early. It’s not as cold as it could be. It’s expected to fall for a whole other day.



Hallelujah! All our quiet actions, cloaked in rain for another dance around the sun. All the things we had been planning to do maybe we won’t now. We can slow down to the speed of water. Wash away our minds, and awake, like the light green grass, with the sun.



The Greatness of Winter

They had so much snow in Buffalo that it pushed in the doors of a woman’s house. She talked about it on the radio. She’s using a table and a treadmill to prop the doors back up “until help arrives.” It took four people an hour to shovel the snow from the living room. Even for Buffalo, that’s a lot of snow.


Winter is the reason I’ll likely never leave New Orleans. I remember all those painful winters in New York and Colorado. I never had the right clothes, the windshield was always frozen and black ice was everywhere.


Sure there were fun, cozy, White Christmas kind of times. Snow days, when my mother, a school teacher, beside herself with delight, would turn on the music and get out the cards and the puzzles. The quiet of winter snow in the Rockies is unrivalled on the earth, I’ll bet.


But then there were all the other times, like the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 1982. We were snowed in with nothing but fudge and cigarettes. Mom got us bicycles that year, and hid them at a friend’s house, so no Christmas presents either.


I knew New Orleans was for me before I even got here. Dorian sent me letters, describing how she was having a ball dancing in the streets, barefoot in the rain in DECEMBER.


No more numb fingers and toes, no more chattering bones and layers of bulky clothes. It’ll be over 70 tomorrow. I’ve worn shorts here on Thanksgiving and even New Year’s.


It surprised me that people in New Orleans decorated their homes for Christmas - reindeer and sleigh on a perfectly manicured lawn, flowers blooming near the palm trees.


When it does get cold here, it’s chilling. All the water surrounding the city carries the cold right into your blood. Still, it is never the kind of cold that kills the mosquitos.


Maybe I’m a little sad. Yes, I can wear a mini-dress and sandals to Thanksgiving dinner, and know, with complete confidence, that I’ll never have to shovel snow off Magazine Street.


But then too, I won’t notice the March ground browning and thawing, the sooted slush making way for the Spring.

The Greatness of Bears

I did see an actual bear once, in the wild.


I was running on an empty, paved road in Whitefish, Montana, the glorious summer after I left my first husband for the first time.


I looked to the left, and there it was. She (or he - I certainly didn’t check) was on all fours, doing God knows what. It was horrifying.


I was helpless there. Clearly, the bear was way more powerful than I. Thank God she didn’t notice me, or didn’t seem to care.


I got to thinking about bears while I was eating a delicious salmon earlier tonight. It tasted so good that I imagined I was a bear.


Maybe I’m a bear. I love honey and hibernation also. Could it be the happy, hungry silence inside me? Bear?


What about the bears? Where are they going? Am I eating all their salmon, melting all their ice with my SUV and throw-away plastic, stealing their wild honey bees with the pesticides that keep my food cheap?


When they are gone, who will be here to bear the earth, to signal Spring?


What do I come bearing? What have I borne?


If only I could go back in time, to that run, and stop and see the bear, study her. Call her by her name, enjoy her size, power, loveliness. All I wanted was to get the hell out of there - escape, survive. Waste of a precious experience. I could’ve really seen her, if I had been more brave.


Bear spirit, can you hear me now, across the miles and dimensions? Can you show me a sign? If I meet you in the river, will you throw me a fish?

The Greatness of Screaming

This client, she came to me in the midsts of migraines. Somehow, after a few cancellations, we met.


She had been a stay-at-home mom for her only child, a daughter. Her husband travels for work. As a result, my client is well-travelled too. She is vivacious, interesting, interested, charming.


We talked about real positions she could do - events, personal assistant, part-time concierge for a hotel chain she liked. Her strength was all that travel. It shaped her into a worldly, capable person.


She has a real passion for art, architecture, archeology, politics, decoration, design. It’s fun to be around her. Usually, I stay very focused with my clients, but she and I lapse into chatting.


Last week, she mentioned her husband. She seemed pissed at him, in her way, and what woman can’t relate? Our men irritate us, we irritate them - true love. I shared some little thing about how Marvin irritates me too sometimes, and we moved onto her resume and our next steps.


This week, she was more direct. Her husband was in town more than usual and he was driving her nuts. She wished he would leave. He’s mean to her. He’s always been this way, but now more than ever.


He’s just like her parents, telling her she’s not good enough, she can’t do it. He screams at her. She hates him. She hates her parents. She wishes he would die.


Yeah right. Good luck. They never die. You have to change.


She has no idea how much money they have in his 401(k). No solid handle on her expenses. She feels trapped. She is lost and kept apologizing to me for telling me her truth.


I told her to steal the information she needed to get clear about her finances and call a lawyer.

“And why don’t you try screaming back at him?” I suggested.


“You mean like a silent scream?”

“No, like a real one.”

Source: By Edvard Munch - WebMuseum at ...