After the sun, comes the rain and that is a good thing
Yesterday’s sunshine and heat seem far away this morning as I sit here and type this. We woke up to a consistent drizzle, that ebbs and flows like a tide coming from the sky. The birds were so loud this morning, it made me wonder if they were outraged because of the rain or grateful for the cooling down.
Weather used to annoy me so much. A lot of my Facebook memories of the early days had mentions of weather complaining about the rain, heat, cold or wind or whatever. I don’t know when that stopped, but the weather no longer bothers me. Even the dismal January low light levels have lost their impact this year. I can’t control the weather, it just happens, and so at some point, I think I just leaned in. If the weather is good I will wash load after load and hang it outside to dry, if the weather is bad, well, then I don’t. It’s weird, how simple that really is. Whilst the climate worries me (a lot) and requires action (by governments and businesses and some by me of course too), the weather is something you simply cannot control. If it rains, it rains.
I also love a rainy day. Rainy days give me more options somehow. Sunny days require certain things from me. I often feel when it’s sunny that I should make the most of it, whatever that really means. It also requires certain “sunny day activities” like laundry or gardening. There is often much to be done, and I often forget to just bear witness to a sunny day and enjoy it, and just lounge around.
Rainy days let me just be. Or I just let them be. The jury is out on that one, but I hazard a guess, that it is my brain doing the decision-making here, and I am not even aware of it. I am ok to stay in bed longer like I did this morning. I love listening to the rain as I write my morning pages. I adore the smell of June rain after a hot day, I wish there was an essential oil that could capture that smell.
I have been thinking a lot about what I want this space to be and what I don’t want it to be. The “don’t” comes so easy to me. I don’t want it to be about just one thing. I am not good at keeping my attention to just one thing. Ever. ADHD has my attention wander to lots of places and by making myself stick to one thing, I am just asking for unhappiness. And I don’t want that for me or for anyone who reads this. I know, I know, my life would be so easy in this online world if I found my niche, or my calling or my whatever, but dammit I don’t want to.
So what I decided is that this is going to be a commonplace journal-type blog. A lot of how I used to blog in the good old days on my defunct blog “Me, Myself and I”. And a lot of how I journal, in fact. I have written pretty much every day over the past year, usually in the morning, although at times it has to be a little later, but except for 3 days, I wrote every day. Over time, the journal has become a bit of a commonplace book meets diary. And you may wonder now what a commonplace book is. So let me tell you.
The Commonplace Book
Even the Romans kept Commonplace Books, as a way to compile knowledge and daily observations, but they really took off in the Renaissance, which is hardly surprising. People during the Renaissance were so interested in so many things and how to record them became a bit of an issue, and so the Commonplace Book got a new lease of life as well. People would record quotes and sayings and their feelings about them. They would keep notes, and use it for bible study or philosophical thoughts. They recorded letters they received and their thoughts about them. They wrote about the people they met or events of the day in their world or the wider world. They used them as diaries and pen the odd poem. They pressed flowers in their pages and stuck letters at the back. Some would organise them in a way that modern people would find similar to the bullet journal of recent years (which just proves that most ideas are hardly new), others would have a haphazard collection. I adore looking at old commonplace journals, a lot of which have been scanned and so can be accessed online.
So my journal is a space like this, and I would like this substack to become a similar space. With metaphorical ink blotches and messy writing, with longer posts and shorter posts, with deep insights (ha, perhaps, one lives in hope) and shallow observations. With quotes. Books I am reading. Things I am watching. Quotes I like. Things I discover.
I am currently reading Megan Giddings’ “The Women Could Fly” novel, which is set for publication in August 2022 by PanMacMillan. I am about a third into the novel, and it is a fantasy/dystopian mix set in an alternate US (although not that alternate) where witches are being on the surface monitored, but in reality, women are being persecuted in many ways if they are not married with kids by the time they are 28. I am not quite sure yet, how I feel about it. A lot of it, is very on the nose, big messages right into your face and whilst, I usually prefer subtlety in my fiction, perhaps there is something to say about the whole: “Just will you the fuck look at this already, this might be fiction and fantasy at that, but it’s also the hellish reality.” So yeah, maybe it needs to be like that. The average GR rating is 3.64 at the moment, which is making me sad for the author a little. I shall report back how I get on with it.
I am also listening again to “A Discovery of Witches” because why not. It’s my comfort blanket, and I am not sorry about this. Never be sorry or ashamed of what you like, even if there are many that will try their utmost to belittle you (especially if you are a woman) for what you like.
“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you fucking like something, like it. That’s what’s wrong with our generation: that residual punk rock guilt, like, “You’re not supposed to like that. That’s not fucking cool.” Don’t fucking think it’s not cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” It is cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic”! Why the fuck not? Fuck you! That’s who I am, goddamn it! That whole guilty pleasure thing is full of fucking shit.”
― Dave Grohl