Tuesday, February 03, 2015
writing in the rain
Yesterday was devoted to one task -- working on another draft of my Thursday lecture.
I have one hour to present my research. The last draft was 16 pages of outline notes. You can see the problem. The corpses of five lectures are buried in my prose loam. So, I have been taking the machete to it.
A wiser man would simply acknowledge that Aristotle was correct. Everything that exists is the same as itself; and is different from everything else. If I have five lectures; they are five lectures, and will never be one, no matter how hard I stomp the garbage into the dust bin.
That revelation came to me this afternoon after six hours of tamping down the trash. I had set up camp at Papa Gallo's with a great view of the beach. I knew the restaurant would not be too busy because of the rain that descended on us with a vengeance on Sunday evening. It was still hanging about in thunderstorm mode.
I thought I would be undisturbed. But nature has a way of intervening.
The light reflecting off of the clouds was too enticing for my inner Ansel Adams. Between the flocks of birds commuting from bait ball to bait ball, and the thunder adding long ominous rolls in the background, I had to get away from the computer to enjoy what was going on.
I particularly liked this view. Our little bay is now filled with boats seeking refuge from our unseasonably wet weather. It feels as if the weather system has squatted over us. But that isn't true.
In the photograph, you can see another wave of rain that was heading our way -- and managed to clear the beach of Mexican tourists celebrating the intricate subtleties between Articles 26 and 27 of their Constitution. Or maybe they were just having a good time.
Because I wasn't going to get any more editing done while enjoying the beach view, I decided to sequester myself in my monastic cell -- otherwise known as my bedroom. A place, as Henry Higgins would say, with "an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb."
And so it was for about three hours. I then heard the distinctive tones of the town band and the mullah-like prayer over a cheap loudspeaker that indicated another religious procession was passing by.
From yesterday's essay, you know what was up. It was the Candlemas procession -- trying to pry people from their homes to attend mass. It wasn't working.
And it wasn't working very well for the procession, either. The usual faux Indian dance troupe led off -- but their ranks (and enthusiasm) were rain-thinned.
This shot gives you an idea just how small this particular procession was. You can see the dancers in front, followed by the usual pickup "float," the town folk who have joined in, and the band looking just as bedraggled as the dancers.
The "float" was an interesting piece of propaganda. Candlemas celebrates the day Joseph and Mary first took baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem. As practicing Jews, they were following the Torah's requirement to offer up the first born to God and to purify the mother after childbirth.
Whoever designed the float decided it was a good opportunity to remind mothers to baptize their babies.
As I stood there shooting, I noticed something very odd. The complete absence of the bone-jarring sky rockets (cohetes). Nary a one was shot off while the procession was within three blocks of my house. I assumed that it might be too rainy.
Wrong. I no more closed my gate when I heard two. WHAM! WHAM! As if ISIS had decided that shelling Barra de Navidad would be good sport.
And then there were none. Maybe my rain theory was correct, after all.
But it was a nice break. And a break that gave me time to cook a small dinner -- which I ate while watching Annie Hall. One more time.
If I start channeling Alvy Singer during my lecture on Thursday, well -- it might be a good thing.