And on the other hand...

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wet and Wild Weather

The past week in Hawaii has had everyone recalling the last serious monsoon we endured, in 2006. "Was that 40 days of rain or 42?"  We liked the Biblical proportion, but 42 is a good number too, but I hope we aren't repeating the past.  I can do without mudslides, flash floods, hail (we had some this week), severe alert warnings on my TV and iPad, and less severe manifestations of too much water: the passenger-side door of TAO 61 filled up with water this week and made a mysterious sloshing sound when I would start and stop.  It seems to have abated.

And there was water all over my kitchen floor one morning, although this had nothing to do with wet weather.  It was difficult to determine whence it flowed. The water line to the fridge?  The dishwasher? The new bottled water cooler?  (The most likely culprit.) After doing what the bottled water company suggested ("We call this 'troubleshooting'," the customer service rep said), I tracked it to the water cooler, but still not sure if it is the bottle or the device.  The troubleshooting involved removing the big bottle from the cooler--how to do this?--so I just drained off the excess into teakettle, large jug and a curious bit of swag I had in the cupboard: a Camelbak bottle, a pricey thing I'd never used. (I'm not one of those people who go nowhere without a bottle of water.)

It took some tinkering and a web search to figure out the point of the technological Camelbak, which is like a leakproof automatic straw delivery system.  I showed it to the Wizard. "Look, you just bite here and suck lightly and the water just flows into your mouth."  It's a lot like a breast really, a nipple.

"Gross," he said, "besides, I hate the taste of plain water." That's an ongoing source of amusement; he always sends back the water in restaurants with a little rant: water's not good for you, while ordering an aperitif of Strega.

Of course, water is essential to you, and this universal spiritual metaphor not only sustains us but teaches.

The normally placid, stagnant even, stream past our apartment complex was raging this week.  Where frogs usually peep and croak, and ducks occasionally visit, this week was raging like the Yellow River for an imperial ceremony.  This "streaming video" was taken from the 10th floor of my building:

Through the storm, it is best just to be calm, hang on and wait for the turbulence to pass.  It surely will. These bulbuls, outside my office, were very strong and patient:

Water-however it reaches us, in a raging stream, pelting from the heavens, or from a water bottle-- keeps us alive, shapes the earth and cleanses.  I thought of this while being shampooed after an overdue haircut yesterday.  My hairdresser, an intense and enthusiastic Filipina who loves the shape of my head and is willing to do a very close crop, commented, "You hair grew so fast.  When were you here last?"

"Maybe two moons ago," I said, recalling that the storm had somehow overshadowed the full moon earlier this week. (No wonder my head was itchy.  I tend to time my haircuts--not completely on purpose, maybe instinctually--to the phases of the moon.)  I was thinking how much I sounded like a Navajo from an old Western horse opera, when she said, "So Chinese. That's why you like China!"  Then it occurred to me that there are lunar cultures and solar ones.

I asked the Wizard, my in-house walking wikipedia, if the Mayan calendar was a lunar one or a solar one, thinking that the attributes of a culture may have something to do with the calendar they use.
On the wall of my lanai; not exactly a taiji.
"It's solar," he said, "but probably the greatest cultures use both."  I want to think some more about this, to make an informed observation.  Does the calendar of a culture affect its "personality"?  Are there yin cultures and yang cultures?  Do two calendars balance the culture?

Whatever, there is still the rain.  And sometimes you must be patient by yourself under an umbrella or a palm frond.


sybil law said...

Ugh - I need a haircut.
And what about people like me, who barely use a calender at all? Seriously - I never know the date, and when I need to know it and find out, the info goes right back out of my head. This is why I suck with sending out birthday cards in a timely manner - I will know and remind myself for 2 weeks ahead of time, and then the day just comes around and 2 days later, I'm like, "Shit!", because i tried for once to be all over it. :)
Love the birds!!

baroness radon said...

No calendar is a kind of freedom! And as for birthdays...this is one advantage of Facebook...the reminders are there.

The weather is nice today...sunny for a change!