Back in September I was given a small notebook from a new contact I had made. We discussed work mostly, but also art and life and she gave me one piece of advice - to focus on things I love; and so I did, writing in the front page of the book she had given me : 'this is a book for things I love', and over the next four months I wrote and drew in it almost every day, filling it with scribbles, doodles and random ideas.
Initially I drew patterns, Small repeated patterns and one I marked with the title 'Rain' and the code JL086 (oddly a code for the Japan Airlines flight between Shanghai Pudong and Haneda, Tokyo airport).
the 'rain' sketch - biro in a notebook
I also noted that it had been a long time since I had experienced rain, and how much I missed it. The summer, through lockdown, had seemed dry and long. I missed the rain.
And shortly afterwards it came, one evening; and with it, drawing after drawing, and memory and ideas and thoughts to pursue. It gave me a strange kind of energy. One that accelerated the turning inwards on myself I wrote about before.
Quiet and contemplative in the dark, listening to the rain; scribbling in my book, a sort of meditation and calmness came about me.
I have a sparky mind, easily distracted and ready to move on to the next idea, moment and experience. But the rain was and is putting me into a sort of focused state. I am not sure if it was the sound or the darkness or the solitude. Maybe it was all three.
I was safe in this place, dry and warm but oddly sheltered by rain from the wider world, disconnected expect to sound and myself. Each time I was in this state it prompted a rush of creative activity. Often it started in the same way, with the same words or the same sort of doodle but it would gradually evolve and change and alter. As when you recite a mantra the actual shape of the word becomes altered and meaning forms and reforms with its repetition, and you notice and un-notice it.
And I would keep going, keep working like this until I became tired or indeed until the rain dropped and the mood changed.
Afterwards I felt a strong sense of joy, of revival and optimism. I would even smile. I felt myself doing it. I was reaching new ground and feeling better for it.
So the rain gave me these two sensations : quiet, floating calm surrounded by safety; and exuberant delight. Nothing in between. No darkness, no negativity. Just these two feelings. I do not follow any organised religion, but it was similar to the feeling I get when I enter a sacred place. Quiet, old churches always calm me. As do woods, and deserts. But to date not everything has filled me with joy in the same way as rain.
There are many other aspects to rain, but for me these two feelings kept recurring, and my book became filled with variations of the ideas that sprang from them. With more research I expanded my appreciation for what I was feeling. And slowly I learned of the connection between rain and the human psyche, and alchemy of all things. It is not directly informing my work, but it is adding a depth of understanding to what I am pursuing, and the need to read up on Jung (sometime).