Thursday, March 24, 2005
Rainy Day People
As distinct from Rainy Day Women, Zimmerman's better-known treatise with a blues harp. THIS one is Gordon Lightfoot and quite ideal for a darkling afternoon with the rain chasing the mud off the tired windows, the sky replaced by bands of cloud in blue and grey and wind-blown patterns on the wet roads chasing the cars that leave a double-wake.
What do I do for a living? Nights and days like this make me wonder and regret. Why do I sit and shuffle papers when I should be cursing the weather from the after-deck of a tramp steamer stuck in the exact centre of the sky and the Pacific, somewhere off Cape Horn ...
What DID I do today? I claimed a vast amount of money from the Gorment. For which I had to sign my name on 19 different sheets of paper. I counted.
Followed my personal principle of NOT writing bureaucratese in files. Repented when one file came back to me and I read my note from earlier in the day; had been rather too harsh and caustic about a good man's lack of initiative. Made amends, I hope.
Come to think of it, if files from the late 20th century are ever dug up for research, the unfortunate researcher will probably end up walking around like a zombie and bumping into things. Files are for record. A bureau keeps records, hence the Weberian "bureaucrat". Would I want to place on record for posterity or its spavinned cousin that I could never bestir myself to write simple straightforward comments or directives? That I used the linguistic equivalent of a Word template to record what I thought?
Mem: now that you're the boss, write what you bloody well feel. And you CAN say sorry even in file.
But the weather, the weather. Weather to seduce me from the air-conditioned sterility of my room, weather to yearn in as the lights come on and glisten on the walls roads cars rickshaws drainpipes lovers ... Weather to exult in, to shout aloud to the streaming skies, weather to make one throw one's arms wide and breathe the just-remembered scents of childhood. Weather in which to make long languid love on cotton sheets and lie in the half-dark afterwards. To stand on a high balcony amid the rain-fat breezes and look for miles across the washed-clean city.
Lines from The Bearded God ... "brishti nesha bhora shondhya bela / kone Balaram-er aami chela / Aamaar shwopno ghirey naache maataal jutey, joto maataal jutey ..."
(I'm not sure how Balaram comes into this, since his "chelas" were the two plough-bullocks .. our first Nobel Laureate had fantasies about being a bullock?! Jeepers!)
But these lines ... "here, in this rain-raptured twilight / I am a mad savant's acolyte / while drunkards dance in circles through my dreams" .. bring back memories of the courtyard in my mamarbaari when the rain pelted against the tiled verandah and we needed umbrellas to dash across at dinner-time.
"Dance in circles"? An echo dredged from my subconscious, surely, since I started this post with Zimmerman ... all together, now ...
"Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free / silhouetted by the sea / circled by the circus sands / with all memory and fate / driven deep beneath the waves ..."