I want to wake up with the rain falling on a tin roof…
Maybe “roof” isn’t the right word, but I surely woke up to the rain.
It’s 5:45 AM. I never see the day dawning from this side–If I see 5:45 AM, I’m always looking at it from the other side, from the staying up all night side. It’s a bit odd being awake right now.
I’m not entirely certain why I woke up. The rain is sort of loud. But it’s pleasant. It’s been sunny and hot lately, and I was due for some rain. All in all, I’m not overly impressed with Tennessee’s weather so far. I hate being hot. I’m quite happy to wake up to the rain this morning.
The sound of rain always contents me. I’ve always been a water person. Whether hearing droplets fall from sky to earth or simply washing my hands, I always pay attention to it. When I was younger, I always used to play with the hose out in the sunshine in Montana and watch the sparkling fat drops glitter like diamonds as the rays hit them over the backdrop of the Northern Rockies. I’ve never seen the point behind buying diamond rings when you have water.
I wanted more.
Things never work out the way you expect them to. I certainly didn’t expect to wake up so early this morning. I was exhausted when I went to bed at 12:30 AM, mainly because I rarely make it to bed before 1 or 2 on weeknights, and around 3 – 4 on weekends, if not later. Night owls are always condemned to less sleep than their daywalking counterparts–I’ve become accustomed, if not resigned, to that fact.
Waking up to the rain is pleasant, however. It made me want to write. Pretty soon, I wil have to get up and go to work, but for now I’m here. My bed is that perfect warm, the cool outside air and the breeze from the fan have placed me into a coccoon of gentle morning bliss here sandwiched between my nest of pillows and my down comforter. There are worse ways to wake up.
How do you ask for what you want if asking comes at the possible expense of losing it? How do you know what you want, even?
I hate playing games. There is always this balance game, this highwire act that women and men play together when they are unsure where they stand. Are they on the platform, safe? Or are they perched precariously on the edge of a line, suspended over nothing with no net to catch them if they fall? I kind of feel like the latter.
It’s self-preservation at its best. Don’t put yourself out there. You’ll get slapped against the pavement, dropped from the heights of your hopes and/or expectations.
I was told last night by a good friend that I am too cynical. Am I? She was being fatalistic to an extreme, and I’ve never done well when people tell me things will work out if they are meant to be. I think that’s a cop out answer because people don’t want to admit that things rarely work out. Meant to be. I see more sense in the thought that relationships are the Elephant Dance.
This is a concept that I came up with at a songwriters’ group here in Nashville a few months back. Someone threw out the title “The Elephant Dance,” and the songwriter there, Kirsti Manning, asked us what that song would be about. Some people thought literal. I thought about couples.
We meet. We either click or don’t. You’re either attracted to someone or you’re not. Sometimes there’s enough there to make you at least curious. More rarely, there’s an instant zing, and within days or hours you find yourself plunked directly into a new life. But then comes the problem. People are terrified of getting hurt. Because all of us have a lot of pain that we carry around with us like we are some sort of pachyderm. Two people trying to interact with all that baggage is like an elephant dance.
How do we do it? Put out your trunk, poke at them a little bit. If their trunk meets yours, you might move a little closer to them. If they slap it away or stomp on it, you run away.
I’m the last person who could explain why sometimes it works. Why two people meet and click and bam, find themselves drawn to one another. That lil spark. Most people seem to go about their lives–this is my thought based on interactions with friends, etc.–content without that spark. They find the vaguely curious and pat them with their trunk until the other elephant pats them back. Then they try to be together. Those usually don’t work. In fact, they have a tendency to fall apart rather spectacularly.
It’s the inexplicable connections that have the most potential. But they are scary as hell, and more often than not are met with remarkable obstacles and barriers, so people just let them go. With risk comes the possibility for great gain, but when do you decide how worth it is?
I sure as hell don’t know. It’s a gamble that could pay off, but dancing with elephants is a good way to be trampled.
The last time it happened to me, I ended up…well. Heartbroken. In the meantime between then and now, I’ve tried the other way. Some spluttering miniscule spark that both people try to fan because they’re just so damn lonely, even when their elephants can barely fit in the same room with one another. The Elephant Dance has caused my world to be wrecked–two giant pachyderms can cause a hell of a lot of destruction when they’re not careful.
So when you do find a spark that doesn’t seem to splutter but grows itself larger, that feeds even on distance and time and blossoms into a warm blaze when given even half a chance, what do you do? First of all, you better hope it’s mutual. That’s the scariest part…but if it is, then what? Because those ones have mandatory roadblocks, and sometimes the price is just too high. Even if you can see some of their baggage and have some idea what you’ll have to dance with, even if you saw it and want nothing more than to help heal it, to fix it, to remove that haunted look and tone–even then, they might not want you to.
This is a “what now?” sort of week. A lot of things from the past few months came to fruition in a variety of different ways. But even though I’ve resolved some if-onlies and watched hard work pay off in huge and historic proportions, I’m now left sitting and writing at 6:20 on a Friday morning, listening to a harmony of rain in key with some truly great music, wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do now.
There are a lot of options, and none of them seem safe.
I think I will write that song after all.
Posted on 7 November, 2008, in meanderings, thoughts and tagged bliss, confusion, connection, elephants, games, intimacy, life, love, montana, mornings, night, norah jones, rain, relationships, song, tennessee, wanting, weather. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.