Saturday, August 09, 2008

Being photographed and interpreted.

The weather was forecasted to be a heavy thunderstorm. When I left work, it did not appear to be too ominous. Then, an hour later, the heavens opened up and relented upon the earth.

On the way to the bus station, I read a recently purchased book by Anne Lamonte, Bird by Bird, that I picked up at Borders Books in the morning. A book that I meant to read for quite some time but was turned off by one of the chapter titles called, shitty first drafts. As I read and approached the pages, I enjoyed how she relayed how we are to share in our struggles with life and how taking the ordinary events of the day and while we wrap words around our experiences, they emerge with a meaning with which we can share with relatives and friends as a present before they die.

As I approached the downtown Bridgeport Transportation center, the sky was beginning to darken considerably. I was surrounded by a cloud filled sky and as I got off the bus, it began to rain hard. The wind carried the rain rushing through the terminal and past the open spaces and onto the benches and it covered the concrete columns as well.

Some excellent strikes of lightning were thrown as loud claps of thunder were heard. Gaps of time existed between each strike. Creating suspense within the moment. Not knowing which way to turn. Willow, a friend's daughter, says that when it thunders, it is the angels who are bowling strikes, and lightning is like fireworks. What a show that produced for me to see. And a good way to view what is happening on the other side of this world.

I was surrounded by the wires overhead and feared that lightning would strike near where I was standing. I huddled around the concrete columns of the bus station and soon decided to weather out the storm inside the clean glistening white terminal. I saw outside of the floor to ceiling windows the rain that came down heavily in slants. It danced across the pavement as the wind whipped it along. I never saw the rain dance before like that. It almost looked like the incoming tides at a beach moving in rhythmic patterns.

I have recognized from experience that weather turns quickly with these sudden thunderstorms. I chose to quickly dart between the raindrops. As I waited inside the station with a slightly drenched exterior, I was glad to be in shelter as I saw the storm unfold.

everyone was huddled in the bus station along with me, while outside the rain fell in parallel sheets as it danced across the parking lot. I could see outside a few brave people waiting for their buses . I enjoyed watching the storm but I was not sure how long I would need to stay inside. I knew that if I left in the middle of the storm, I would get wet leaving my bus to walk down my street, I would be totally soaked from my head to my toes. Which has happened before with rain of such strength from an earlier morning commute.
Being exposed to the weather makes me feel a little uncomfortable and uncertain of my future at times. Being like a tiny dot against the vastness of the sky and the power of God.

Yet, the passengers in the terminal just stood inside and the security guards dressed in their white and blue shirts stood there exchanging pleasantries among the patrons waiting for their next connection. Some passengers wore t-shirts and baseball caps. And they had their umbrellas in their hands as well. Some read their newspapers.

About 30 minutes later, the rain let up and the end of theintermission let me wander back to the show of my commute. I boarded the bus and reflected on this journey . Having participated in a storm which often comes my way but with a newer meaning having participated with it in my mind.
I boarded the number 10 bus toward Fairfield Woods, and I took in a few good whifs of the sea air and the fresh scent of this summer rain. Having refreshed the air and sky.

As the lightning struck with the bold and ominous flashes-that zig zagged from the sky, it almost felt that I was having my picture taken by God. Now, God has in His rolodex a picture of me that He can share with His angel friends. Even though He knows what I look like since He created me when I was in my mom's womb, it is a comforting reminder that He knows what I look like and think and feel. But getting the immediacy of that through an image is always important and reassuring.

Thus, this would make an electric recipe if I could only replicate in my own kitchen the following; three strikes of bold lightning, two claps of thunder and a bucket of rain. A little more exciting than my bland combinations of shells, bread crumbs and butter. Yet, I need to take the ordinary flavors and add toppings and spices to make the hot dog in me come to life.
That is indeed what Anne Lamont taught me as I read some of her insightful reflections on life as it intersected with her life as a writer. Those ordinary events placed a back drop, a blue screen so to speak to see life in a new and fresh way.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Our oldest daughter described thunder and lightning similarly: the angels are bowling, and when they get a strike, they take pictures.