Tuesday, August 17, 2021

"To be is to do" / Meditation with beloved rain falling once again / True love

I find out with a little googling that Frank Sinatra hated this song from 1966 that is loved by so many.  In 1966, I was listening to Bob Dylan and had no inclination to listen to anything that Frank Sinatra sang.  Paradoxically, Bob Dylan was listening to Frank Sinatra and in recent years has recorded three Frank Sinatra cover albums, without ever covering "Strangers in the Night."  The only Frank Sinatra song that Bob Dylan covered that truly spoke to me was this one from 1949, the year I was born.  Could I have heard it on the radio as a baby?


I remember my early days living in Washington State in the mid-1970s when there was little I yearned for more than to return to Northern California.  There was nothing I liked about Washington State, except the rain.  Since then I have grown to love Washington State, both the cool damp western part of the state and the eastern part of the state, to the east of the Cascade Mountain Range.  Eastern Washington is much much colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.  It's a different landscape, a different world, in all ways.  Although I don't love Washington State in the same way that I love Northern California, Washington State is one of my true loves nonetheless.


"And it has to do with a tree, a singular one, not like these careening and cascading trees all around me here, but one tree that prised open the shell of me, led me out of the enclosing maze, the impasse of the heart, and showed me, yes, I could breathe again, and find love within me, and find that -- which can touch our hearts -- isn't only a person, it can be -- anything really, a sunlit mountain slope, a tree -- it isn't out there that we find love, though it can be some 'out there' being that slides back the shutters and we find the whole landscape of love is within us ..."

(p. 103, Bouyancy of the Craft, by Morelle Smith, who blogs from Scotland and to whom I am deeply grateful for her novel celebrating the life of Annemarie Schwarzenbach)


Sabine said...

I am glad you like the rain, you could feel at home in Ireland!

I read the travel book by Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Ella Maillart some time after 9/11 because I enjoy travel writing and also wanted to find out more about life in Afghanistan before the wars there and before fundamentalist muslims. The English title is All The Roads are Open, the Afghan journey. The two women travelled to Afghanistan to escape the upcoming WWII. Imagine.
When we moved in 1988 from Ireland to this small African country I call paradise, friends gave us books to bring just in case there would not be any library (there were many). One book was Sisterhood is Global by Robin Morgan, an A - Z anthology about the women's movement around the world. Afghanistan was one of the first entries and at that time is sounded incredibly progressive (university courses on equality, a long list of female authors and publishers and politicians) with a photograph of women who looked as determined and forthright (many in Western clothing) as anywhere else. We left all books behind, I hope it's still somewhere in a library or at least with someone. But I doubt that.

am said...

Sabine -- Thank you so much for this comment. Afghanistan has been foremost in my mind.

am said...

Sabine -- Just now I've made a request to our public library that they buy a copy of All The Roads are Open, the Afghan Journey. Looking forward to reading it.

Colette said...

I lived in what was then a small town, south of Seattle, from 1960-1963. I fell in love with the rain. I remember going out for a walk in the rain after dark, with an umbrella and moodiness as my companions. That misty, moody rain is so different from the torrential deluge I now experience in Florida. Still, I always welcome a rainy day.

am said...

Colette -- You've reminded me that when I moved to Western Washington in the spring of 1974, I was deeply apprehensive about spending a winter season here, thinking that there would be months of the infrequent but torrential deluges that were what I had grown up with in Northern California. What a relief to find the misty moody rain that you described so well. It's been unsettling to be without the relief and release that comes with gentle rain. Today started out with sunshine and a trace of smoke but has turned relatively cool and cloudy, with rain in the forecast.