spring rain and dust
He talked about "letting the dust settle as he listened to the hard rain on his roof". If the rain is symbolic of things in our lives that poke and prod us to reflect, to act, to embrace change, and the settling dust is symbolic of taking pause, then it is reasonable to suggest the phrase is a metaphor that describes the desirability of pacing life to a slower beat.
The bands of rain clouds and stormy weather today has reminded me of possibly the most subtle rejection I ever experienced (some time ago now). It was the last sentence in an email that followed several paragraphs describing how he felt. He had been disconnected over the preceding few months, well before he met me, and being with anyone right now (read: me) risked becoming an emotional rollercoaster for him. I feel like I have heard this speech before. Though I admired that he chose a highly figurative phrase to appeal to my visual mind and, in doing so, hit his mark with missile precision.
That the last phrase he used reminded me of a comforting notion softened the blow. One of my favourite smells in the whole wide world is the aroma of the first drops of rain on a dry earth. It spores droplets of dust that are somehow wet and dry at the same time. The infusion of dust and water is strangely soothing for me. It is probably a throwback to my childhood but I have no conscious memory of why. It could be what drives my urge to venture out into the rain as the heavens open up and kick around in the dust of the earth every time it rains. I do not like watching dust settle. Never have.
I know it is a good dormant memory. It sleeps in a cocoon, wrapped in darkness - hidden by shadows of larger memories that dominate the spaces inside my mind.
It is strange how we link moments and feelings through some secret combination of our senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Every moment has a unique combination - a subliminal code that transcends rational thought. Our bodies register that code in the moment and then years pass before similar combinations trigger memories of that original moment.
Some moments are locked away in a memory vault, referred to only when certain triggers decipher the combination. Other moments stay within our conscious mind and we are constantly reminded by every day events.
When we know what those triggers are, we can avoid them if we choose to; but if we don’t know them, it is almost a curse that bad memories dart into the forefront of our minds.
At its simplest, a single sense can have meaning in terms of a particular feeling. For example, every time I smell frangipani, I recall Signora Bianca who lived on our street when I was a child. And how the smell of a certain aftershave somehow makes me feel safe (even if it is a complete stranger who has washed themselves in it). And how the taste of chamomile tea soothes me not necessarily through its medicinal qualities but because it’s what my mother gave me to drink whenever I could not sleep.
I also seem to have gotten into a habit of tagging moments with music. Somehow that extra dimension helps me to map what otherwise seem like random events. In some respects, the music I choose to tag my moments form a pattern in themselves.
Let me reveal a marker … “I can’t help myself; when I feel this way, I wanna be someone else. When I get this feeling, it gets in my system; I can’t put the brakes on” (excerpt from Can’t Help Myself – Icehouse). It’s the marker I associate with one crazy summer in my teenage years. But that’s a story for another day.