January 8, 2005

Rain and the Eternal Note of Sadness

It's a rainy, foggy Saturday. The dog is asleep on the couch with his paws up in the air. I am muffled and dumb like a dervish, blogging away.

As the last time it rained like this on a Saturday, I am reminded of a poem, about the Blitz, by Dame Edith Sitwell. Part of it is like this:

Still falls the Rain--
Dark as the world of man, black as our loss--
Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails
Upon the Cross.

Still falls the Rain
With a sound like the pulse of the heart that is changed to the hammerbeat
In the Potter's Field, and the sound of the impious feet
On the Tomb:
Still falls the Rain
In the Field of Blood where the small hopes breed and the human brain
Nurtures its greed, that worm with the brow of Cain. . .

The rain and the quiet make me conscious of Sloth, a deadly sin for which I have a particular predilection.

One might say that the fog and quiet give an opportunity for introspection, examination of conscience, meditation. Perhaps. But Sloth covers me, as the chilly fog covers the valley upon which our deck looks out.

It calls to mind a Catholic prayer I vaguely remember from somewhere and found by googling here, a confession of sin, part of which goes like this:

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti
et vobis, fratres, quia peccavi
nimis cogitatione, verbo,
opere et omissione: mea culpa,
mea culpa, mea maxima
I confess to Almighty God and
to you, brethren, that I have
sinned exceedingly in thought,
word and deed, and have left
undone what I ought to have
done, through my fault, through
my fault, through my most
grievous fault.

The prayer comes complete with a ritual beating of the breast (three times, of course).

There is a strange beauty in the gray light and the quiet of a gentle rain, and even in the sadness it evokes.

Just a little boy standing in the rain
The gentle rain that falls for years
And the grass is gone, the boy disappears
And rain keeps falling like helpless tears
And what have they done to the rain?

My daughter has come up and is playing a Dixie Chicks song that fits the mood, Travelin' Soldier:

One Friday night at a football game
The lord’s prayer said and the anthem sang
A man said folks would you bow your heads
For a list of local vietnam dead
Crying all alone under the stands
Was a piccolo player in the marching band
And one name read and nobody really cared
But a pretty little girl with a bow in her hair

And this comes to mind:

Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Enough wallowing. A little hypomania would be welcome, but it will be awhile.

1 comment:

Sanko said...

What a beautiful composition!