Content Warning for brief mentions of childhood trauma (abuse and neglect) toward the end.Continue reading
This week’s episode, so soon after the last one, was brought on by a crown breaking. Again. It’s fourth months old and has broken twice. In a minor way both times, thankfully, but it is still very frustrating that now I have to take more time out of my schedule to go to the dentist, my least favorite place I voluntarily visit at least twice a year. Growing up, my dentist didn’t believe in sensitive teeth, so every trip was miserable and I’ve formed a deep association between the dentist’s office and pain. As a result, even though my current dentist is wonderful and considerate and (mostly) excellent at their job, I still get unbelievably stressed every time I have to go there for something. Throw in that crown work generally takes a long time (especially if I’m gonna get it replaced this time, but we’ll see what the dentist recommends) and I just spend all of the time leading up to my appointments absolutely dreading them.Continue reading
We’ve had a few hefty storms in my area lately, which has been nice considering how few of those we’ve had prior to this last week. We needed the rain and I needed a chance to bask in the gentle susurrus of water falling on leaves as I sit in the mostly dry area beneath them. I also needed the comforting rumble of thunder echoing through the gray skies about as much as the area needed a return to proper summer water table levels. There’s a creek I walk by most days that has been low for so long all the signs of the “normal” water level disappeared a month ago.Continue reading
This scene is not mine.
Don’t ask me whose it is, I just wandered through.
My life is elsewhere, but don’t ask me that either.
If you find it, let me know.
I’ve been looking awhile.
My aesthetic is rainy days and dark roads.
Fresh, rain-churned mud and speckles of water on glasses.
Music whose notes and words are engraved on your soul.
The patter of rain on glass; window and windshield.
A heart made of tangled knots and too many nots.
A soul pierced by a spike of its own design.
Weary eyes, tired bones, and joints that predict the weather.
Soft smiles, gentle kindness, and world-weary wisdom.
Don’t ask me who I am, there’s no answer to that.
If answers are all you seek, maybe your path lies elsewhere.
All I have are questions.
I will share those, if you want.
Please don’t go, though.
I don’t know where I’m going but I’d like to not be alone.
Maybe, if we stick together you’ll find your answers.
I’d like to know when I’ve got enough questions.
Rainy grey days and soft muted nights,
Fog in the trees obscuring the lights
Of passing cars and the lone street lamp
As the world revels in the wet and the damp.
The quick pit-patter of dripping rain
Against the roof and window pane,
The bend and sway of leaf and tree,
The storm-blown scratch of spring debris,
The susurrus of water on grass
As the clouds roil, break, and pass.
A hint of loam and earthy strength,
A touch of fresh that runs the length,
Something new to mark the year
As the scent rides wind far and near.
The cold pin-prick of rain on skin
To mark the storm will now begin,
The deep chill gust that cuts to bone
And leaves stout souls to walk alone,
All hint of warmth retreats from hearts
As the skies open and the rain starts.
Unlit grey rooms and seats to rest
By windows with forehead pressed,
A crack to pull in rain-soaked air
And a blanket warm waiting near,
Silence reigns loud to give the storm
Ample room to sooth and perform
For those who watch and wish to be
Nothing more than melancholy.
Here’s another “shoot, I really need to get that buffer made” poem to hold you over when I’m too busy to write something new every day for my daily post. Hopefully you’re all have a wonderful holiday season and, for those of you who celebrate it, I hope your Christmas Eve is going well.
As the moon sits, fat and high,
I watch a battle of giants in the sky.
Flashes of light that make no sound
Miles and miles above the ground:
A tumultuous scene of Majestic Weather!
No fluffy clouds, light as a feather
Are these, but dark monstrosities
That dominate the sky, ignoring the breeze.
A scene of beauty like no other
Is the storm that decides to hover
On the horizon like a mountain silhouette,
But infinitely more of a looming threat.
Beauty and violence twisted together
Is this Queen of inclement weather!
In a game that keeps on giving some nine months after I started playing it, one of my favorite random occurrences is the occasional rain storm. As I play through Hero Mode (enemies are stronger and regenerate health, plus there are more of them), I’ve changed my settings to get rid of as much of the Heads Up Display as possible, using the “Pro” layout. Gone is my clock, my sonograph, my thermometer, and every other indicator that I’m playing a video game aside from my health bar and occasionally my stamina wheel. If I could hide those, I’d do that as well. Not to make the game harder, but to bring me closer to the game. That way, when it begins to rain, my only indication is the growing cloud cover or the first tell-tale drops as I ride through an area occupied by a storm.
I feel a certain amount of anxiety at times, not knowing what the weather will be before I decide to climb a mountain (you will slide down the cliff you’re climbing if you move at all during rain storms), but it quickly fades once I actually get absorbed into the game. I climb and either hurry if it gets cloudy or resign myself to being rained off the cliff. I also don’t know if it is a rainstorm or a thunderstorm until the first lightning strike, so that means I have to avoid using any metal weapons or armor. If I can climb or fight most enemies, there’s not a whole lot left to do if I don’t want to teleport away and do something else until the rain ends.
I’m quite patient. I’d rather set the controller down for a few minutes while the rain storms itself out than warp away and lose track of what I was doing as I get distracted by some new quest. When I first started doing this, I’d grab my phone and browse Twitter or Imgur for the storm’s duration. As time went on, I paid more attention to the storms in the game. There are things that only show up in the rain, certain bugs and flowers, and AI characters, both enemies and NPCs, behave differently when it is raining. There are parts of the map that flood when it rains. Rain and thunderstorms aren’t just a detriment to your ability to climb or a barrier to work around when you’re fighting, they’re actual players in the world that cause everything in it to respond. There is so much to do during a storm that I’ve stopped setting my controller aside and spend the four or more in-game hours exploring my local environment to see what changes.
The more I played, the more I noticed that I felt similarly during a game rain storm compared to how I feel when I sit in a real rain storm. Now, I split my rain storms between exploring and finding a nice sheltered place, out of the rain, to have Link stand while I look out at the rain-soaked world around him. My inner pluviophile has taken control and now I love nothing more than a surprise rain storm so I can watch the water drip off of link’s clothes and the weapons he’s holding in his hands. I love to watch the world go soft and grey as it rains during the day and then dim as the sun sets and night begins.
There are particular places in the game that are always raining. I like to go to them sometimes, usually when I need to relax, so I can have Link light a fire and stand next to it under whatever shelter I could find while it rains. The world falls silent except for the sound of rain on the ground, the moan of the wind as it whips the rain around, and the crackle of the fire. When I close my eyes and listen, I can almost smell the sweet scent of dirt churned into mud by rain and the fresh tinge to the air wafting in my window.
Eventually I open my eyes, pick up my controller, and go back to playing. I chase Koroks to expand my inventory, find new shrines, collect everything I can so I’ll be able to upgrade my armor, and find new ways to tackle multiple enemies at once when freezing them is no longer an option (the gold ones can’t be frozen, I guess? That’s super annoying). It may be a few days between play sessions or it may just be a couple hours, but I know I’ll eventually go looking for the rain again, just so I can spend a little more time bathing in the silence and peace the rain brings.
I am relaxing on my bed, right arm tucked behind pillows that support my head and left leg crossed over right. My toes, freed from their normal cotton restraints, idly fidget in the cold wind that blows through my apartment. In my free hand, I hold a book over my head so that, should I begin to doze, I will not sleep for long. A book to the face is enough to wake most anyone.
I stir as the wind picks up, the unseasonable chill it carries into the beginning of summer deepening. It convinces me to wrap my lower legs and feet in a blanket. A chill breeze is easy to ignore. The seeping cold is not. My nose grows cold and I occasionally wish for a light blanket for my upper body as well, but not enough to pull myself away from this place of peace and relaxation.
I begin to doze every page or so. At one point, I miss my face and my doze extends into a short nap. It would have been a long nap if not for the flecks of icy water that splattered on my elbow. I wake, some five minutes after my nap began, almost an hour after I cease to notice the world around me, to find the rain sheeting down outside my window. The cold gusts that had been pushing through my apartment now carried rain with them, as far as my bed. It is unexpected. The forecasts called for clouds and wind, no rain.
I rouse myself from my stupor, propping myself up on my elbows so I can nudge the window, closing it to about a quarter of its full capacity. After fumbling for my bookmark and putting my book on my bedside table, I lay back again. I breath deeply of the damp heady aroma of mixed rain and churned dirt that flows in through my window and think of nothing as I stare into the sky. My peace grows as I let my senses embrace this rain.
Two minutes in, I am roused by the familiar anxiety of every unexpected storm. I rise from my bed and trek into the main room. There are no raindrops on the window screen and half the small porch beyond it is still dry. My couch is safe unless the wind changes. I stand and watch the waves of rain cascade through the parking lot, hammering the puddles that never seem to disappear these days and making me glad I no longer live at the bottom of a hill.
I retire to my room again and find the playlist I’d created not even a week ago. I turn it on and let the five songs that remind me of the calmness and relaxation I only truly feel during rain storms play through the speakers of my small stereo. I take my place back on my bed, but leave my book on the nightstand. This time, I do not begin to doze. This time, I stay and breath in the rain as it falls, wishing I had a proper porch on which I could watch it. After a few minutes, I no longer desire it. I am content to recline on my bed and let it play itself out as I experience it through my window.
It takes only half an hour. Longer than other storms I’ve seen this month, but still nowhere near as long as I would like it to be. My playlist has only made it halfway through its second rotation. The rain leaves me behind with nothing but the damp, acrid scent of a small woods holding onto the humidity that it has acquired. This humidity is released slowly. Even when I climb into my car for work the following morning, it will still be there, making the whole area feel almost like a chilly sauna.
But tonight, as I drift off to sleep, the churned earth and plant matter scent of the rain and forest will keep me company. I return to my book and sigh contentedly, no longer focused on the storm’s end. It will be there in a few hours, when I need it. Tonight, I will sleep well.