Being Frank


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3. Castle In The Air

That night I dreamt. I dreamt of a great comfort. Rain. There’s something different about rain. Something, cathartic and reassuring. Like a chorus of messages. ‘Stay calm.’ Maybe it’s just me that thinks that. Maybe i’m the only one that sees torrents of rain outside the window, and wishes he had the nerve to run through it and never stop. Never stop running. Can I be the only one that takes pleasure in the sound? The drips of an overflowing gutter, the shifting of cooling metal. The strikes on concrete. When the rain comes, the worlds sings. Everything begins to play. WIth every object bringing to life a new purpose, a new diversity. The orchestra of life, movement one. The gentlest song on Earth.

Then the thunders come. Then the skies bellow and crack. The heaven’s critique.

Earth sings and the heavens jeer. And there I sit, in a hoodie and jeans. On a bench, in the middle of my local high street. No discernable reason to be there, no purpose or calling. But I sat, and listened. The bench was soaking wet. And so was I. But I didn’t run for cover. I didn’t get up and follow the herds of shoppers to the nearest shelter. No, I sat on that bench. My nose to the sky, with the giddiest grin I could muster.

From the day we’re born, we rely on our eyes. Those tiny rings of colour bring life to our worlds. But in this single moment, to be blind would be just as beautiful. In the rain we rely on other senses. When the downpour clouds our vision, instead of running and hiding, instead of fleeing so we can recover our visual crutch. Perhaps we should stop and listen. Stop and taste. For once, see nothing. Forget symbolism and guidelines. Forget about limits and priority. All the world is a stage, and there’s a song to be heard. So for once, stop. Listen, smell, taste and feel. For once, be the audience that you are.

 

I didn’t always love rain. In fact, I don’t think I always will. As hypocritical as it is, sometimes the sound is sickening. Sometimes the spattered footsteps in puddles bring back the memories one would want to forget. Perhaps when the rain has been conditioned with an emotion, and the emotion becomes a poison, then the water becomes bitter. Then the thunders are frightening. Then Earth stops singing, but screams instead. An emotion like love.

Quite ironically, an emotion that tricks the eyes. An emotion where the senses are overpowered and heightened, but fragile and impressionable. Love and rain come hand in hand. So to stand, hand in hand, with another in the rain. Is the harmony to the orchestra.

They were our band, we were the conductors. Or perhaps, they were the music and we sang as one. Dancing and diving from puddle to pond. Drenched. We ran and ran. The wind at our side and the torrents at our ears. We were trailblazers of the wetter world. When the streets emptied and the masses huddled, we laughed. There is no stronger love, than the mutual love for marking others’ foolishness. To be as one in being….. one from every other.

 

As magnificent as it is to see the western world slither to a halt in rain, there is something better. I’m an atheist myself, but there are moments where to believe in the absence of a higher beauty is petty and foolish. There are situations and ‘happenings’ where our minds simply can’t explain everything. Humans are beings of deduction and correlation. We draw links and conclusions to everything, in turn providing a cause and effect. But on occasion. Things just, happen. The anomalies of life. Like, chance meetings or ‘happy accidents.’

Immediately we start trying to draw links and connections, but find none. So we turn to instinct, to the little voice in the back of our head that says ‘Look up.’ I never listen to that voice. In fact i take special care in ignoring it. But when the heavens open and the rain comes. Only then, will I look up. And the voice needn’t speak.

 

Imagine a forest. Perhaps one with open fields, a park. Any manner of things. But at its heart, it is a forest. Clusters of nature with grooved paths and wooden huts. The paths where you’d likely share a casual smile with a hiker. Imagine standing in the field. Barefoot. The sun above you, blaring down as it would. You feel the grass on your feet. The stones under you and the grass tickling your soles. The birds sing pleasantly in the distance. All is still and all is well.

I never found solitude in stillness. I find stillness mundane and maddening.

Now imagine a breeze. A gentle brush of wind on your face, rustling your hair. One single gust. You look up, and see the sea of aqua blue receding. Replaced by a thick, black expanse. Stretching as far as you can see. A cloud. A storm. Thundering towards you at enormous speed. Within moments, you’re world has turned black. You look up to it, waiting for the downpour. Praying for mercy. Hoping not to be struck down or drowned. This once, you fear the storm. The thunder comes and you prepare. Arms stretched either side. You stand ready to be judged for your crimes, awaiting whatever the sky has for you. And as the first drop tickles your nose and the boom begins to boom. You feel a warmth. A breath at your neck. Then around your chest. Eventually embracing you. You look, to see a girl. Holding you. Willing to stand in the storm. To withstand the rush or give in to the tide, together. She looks at you, with eyes bluer than the sky you rarely see. And kisses you.

The storm cries out in anger. It attacks you both. The heavens fight a force they can’t begin to understand. Your skin is red from the force, your face is raw from the winds. The world breaks apart around you. But you can’t see it. Because your world is stood right in front of you.


 

I woke with a gasp for air and a jolt. The air in my room was dense and hot. My brow wet from sweat. I sat up and looked to the open window beside me, the curtains rustled from the wind. It had been weeks since I had dreamt. And even longer since they were so vivid and...fresh.

“What is happening to me?”

 
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