A visit from the great sky monster

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Last night, Lester stood barking out the open door, into the dark at nothing, seemingly. So I told him off. Turns out he was saying his piece to the great sky monster before it came too close. Then it came closer, rushing through the city in a great swathe that stretched from the north all the way down to the Bay (I checked. I love the Bureau of Meteorology website ;)

The great bucketfuls were so loud on my flat roof that I couldn't hear the radio playing and couldn't walk anywhere without a shivering dog at my feet. As the rain fell, the intense pressure I'd been feeling in my body began to ease. It was like an outward manifestation of the inward relaxation that had happened when I had sat down earlier at my computer to write I knew not what, and the words came, and they relaxed me, and I felt his pleasure. And I swapped, for the 388 millionth time, expectations for expectancy and relaxed into the moment to find God there. Again. Enough.

The rain stopped and the great sky monster brought out his party tricks, throwing his beautiful bolts through the sky, lighting up into the black that wonderful sensuous blue. Sending his great shards of crackling sound through the air. Releasing further the pressure in my body that had threatened to pop it earlier in the afternoon. It's something to do with barometric pressure. Ever since I have been sick, it's been really bad. Some days it can send me to the couch in a raging frenzy of anxiety and tension, sending all my internal dials buzzing backwards and forwards. When I'm already unwell, it's just too much. And so the relief when the storm hit was palpable. With the change in the air, the balloon deflated back down to garden variety crappy, feelings I was able to put aside in such rarified air that can only come with a storm, the sun, a waterfall, or standing on the side of a mountain.

Poor Lester didn't fare so well. I got up with renewed energy and began cooking myself dinner at 9.30 pm. Lester, however, cowed by the overhead shenanigans of the great sky monster, cowered at my feet, all 40 kilos of him, trying to stuff himself into the open cupboard in some kind of frantic effort to get away from it all.

I mourned with him for a while. Poor darling, he does have such a hard time of it. But selfishly, I hope that when the next great storm hits he is at his Dad's place so that I can rejoice with myself rejoicing, instead of mourning with a dog who just doesn't understand that the great sky monster is just having a bit of fun and ain't gonna do him no wrong.

The storm passed, as they always do. I felt cosy, all of a sudden, cooking myself up some good nosh, feeling the exhilaration of feeling slightly unwell. In comparison to how I felt earlier, it felt like magic. Always our moments are defined by the ones that have gone before. Light and dark mixed together, redeeming each other.

The radio was able to be heard once again after the sky monster moved on. Phillip Adams got talking on Late Night Live about his usual interesting subjects and I felt that cosy, comforting, inside feeling of the cooler months. Phillip discussed melancholia, and the place of sadness in our lives, and whether we are too quick to medicalise melancholia, that there is a place in the world for all sorts, that go-getting extroversion might be the only way to be in a culture that expects 24/7 productivity, but that we are much, much more than our small, small culture.

Nothing like a bit of philosophical pondering to redeem a day that was totally shot to hell several hours earlier. Yesterday ran the gamut of emotions, more than usual. I may be a positive melancholic, I have decided, after listening to LNL. I don't know if there is such a thing. I do know that there is certainly a place for it in our world, the world that God inhabits, in dark and alien places. Sometimes, when I ponder that, I get so Zen and calm I couldn't reach out and touch the edges of the moment even if I tried.


  1. Came here via MikeF at the Mercy Blog.. and so glad that I did.

    This is outstanding - thank you.

  2. I honed in on what you said about melancholics in a world of go-getting extroverts.

    I'm contemplating a world with no sadness. Something would be missing without it, oddly. Without the melancholy of life nothing would touch us deeper than the kiss of the sun, we would never know the depths of what it is to be alive and human. Paradoxical.

  3. FranIAm - witha name like that, you can come anytime you like :)

    Thank you for the compliment. I've been getting so many of them lately, my head is starting to swell.

    Jennifer - I enjoy being sad and melancholy. It's like climbing into bed under the doona. I agree, if it was all light, we wouldn't know what it was. How strange that is ... and makes you wonder how it will be and how different we will be when there is a world that has no dark in it anymore ... it seems unfathomable

  4. It's tuff to ever really let yourself feel it though while living in an insane culture that screams "get over it" with unending zeal.

    "And I swapped, for the 388 millionth time, expectations for expectancy and relaxed into the moment to find God there."

    I love that Sue, not only hearing you express how you are learning to do this but also how coming to live free of expectations and instead, living with expectancy has so tangibly changed my experience in this world. Living by faith in what is not seen and learning to no longer be governed by what is seen is at the heart of the Good News. And then you begin to realize that what is unseen is far more real than what is seen.

  5. We have had two more days now of heavy rain and rolling thunder. Last night it made for a wonderful night sleep. I love it.


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