Sunday, May 15, 2011

rainy day post

Time for a Taiwan memory post... other topics require too much brain power at present. :)  

The rain...

There are several seasons in Taiwan: hot and humid, hotter, rainy, and typhoon season.  The rainy season was the closest we got to winter, in the low 50s, and it actually did feel cold because we didn't have heating.   Sometimes it would rain for weeks.  I would daily lean out our apartment balcony, parting the waters of drying laundry, and strain to see how misty the mountains were.  If I couldn't see them at all, it would rain all day.  

Nothing ever really dried during the rainy season.  We would pin up sheets and everything else until they were close to dry and then use them.  The humidity injected an unavoidable musty smell on fabrics that you didn't notice until you visited another country.  

We didn't go on as many walks to the university (our neighborhood park equivalent) during the rainy season, but would have fantastic make-believes with random dress-up clothes.  Looking back, I had no idea where we found them all, but we had furry vests (think John the Baptist camel hair...mostly used for Native American characters), lacy scarves, and a pink panther costume.  

And a decidedly Asian tepee made from bamboo poles and mosquito netting that my resourceful father constructed.  Armed with these tools and a little (well... a lot, actually) facepaint, my siblings and I would create tunnels and houses and rescue each other from lava.   
My sister and I would dance to the Nutcracker, and Mom would dance to Ron Kenoly.  We would, too... and I would drag my brother into it as well.  My brother would write a million stories and we'd all draw and paint enough to fill a museum.  Paint each other, too.  My poor mother.

There's something about rainy days and the arts.  Maybe it's the ambiguity.  There's space in the blank white/gray sky to imagine all sorts of worlds.  That sky always reminds me of Chinese watercolor paintings, when often over half of the canvass is left blank.  The white could be snow, sky, sea, a lake... 
I like it because it leaves room for all the messiness of life.  There are things that are clear, and if there weren't, we'd have no painting at all (e.g. absolutes).  But there must be room, must be tension, for those things that are not so tidily compartmentalized into boxes (e.g. would this doctrine fit into every culture and age?).   How much tension can we live with?  How much must we, especially in international missions?

Rainy days also make me sleepy.  It's like the sun got tired of its conspicuity and felt like shyly hiding away for a couple of days.  Makes me want to hide away, too, and read and bake muffins.  And play Chopin.  Mozart's a little too brash for rainy days, and Liszt would be too much period.  But Chopin... and Debussy...would be perfect.

Ok well i think this post has enough random ideas in it for present.  :)  may your rainy days have lots of good books, music, hot tea, and lovely company. 

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