Still Raining: An Essay
I remember seeing Jonny Lang on the Tonight Show, probably in '98. He sang this song, and I couldn't get enough of it. It's powerful and the louder you play it, the better it gets. I lost track of Jonny. Then I looked up this music video and found out he's still out there, making music. He enjoys making albums even though nobody really buys albums anymore. We stream and download individual songs now. Way to go Jonny Lang. Hang in there, and may the sun shine down on you.
This freewrite was written while listening to this song....go figure.
Oh, and by the way, this writing is a mixture of fact and fiction.
Still Raining: A Sunday Afternoon Freewrite
I remember as a kid, sitting inside, watching the rain fall on the world outside, the lawn, flowers, trees, on my plans for the day. Doug, Tom and I were going to ride our bikes over to the quarry and go swimming. It was such a great place to swim. High, limestone cliffs towered over the water like castle walls over a moat. Sometimes girls would show up too. All the guys would show off, climbing to the highest rocky ledge and jumping. There was no way you could even hesitate before jumping for fear of being called a chicken and having the girls laugh at you. I was climbing one time and this pretty brunette who I had never seen around before grabbed my arm and told me to please be careful. She had a worried look on her face, eyes wide, no smile. This time I dove headfirst instead of jumping feet first. Not many of the guys would even try that. It was just too high.
I walked toward the ledge, not slowing a bit, bending my knees, arms driving up from waist level in perfect timing with my push off the rock. I spread my arms out to my sides, flying in a perfect swan dive, bringing them slowly together as the surface of the quarry water drew nearer. My palms met in a prayer, parting the water for the rest of me to follow. I swam deep and far before surfacing. Everyone was standing silent on the cliffs when I broke the surface, waiting in nervous anticipation. Then they all broke out in cheers, clapping their hands, jumping into the water to come out and meet me. Everyone except for the pretty brunette. I never saw her at the quarry again after that. But it was raining that day as I looked out the window, wanting to be at the quarry. Not a good day to climb on rocks and jump from cliffs. Rain does that. Holds you back, keeps you down, spoils the fun in life.
Then came college, a career, family, bills, debts, things to do, people to see, places to go, the cluttered, cliché’d lifestyle of an adult. Those things are just a different kind of rain if I let them hold me down. I’m sitting here, looking out the window into the beautiful sunshine. Yet, here I sit, kept in by a different kind of rain. It’s been raining my whole adult life, and it’s still raining.
I haven’t been back to the quarry since high school graduation. My own son is in high school now. He’s in his room listening to music. The quarry? My son? Me? I wonder….Is that the sun peaking through?