< Al Sullivan's journals: the rain that never comes

The rain that never comes


Saturday, September 21, 2013


The wind is up with the promise of rain that is yet to come.

Iím always the little boy in the film Oliver that comes up to the head master asking for more, knowing I probably donít deserve anything at all.

I sit inside looking out the front window at skies that are filled with cloud, but no drops, and I ache the more for it.

This is a long enduring test of strength, of waiting for something that will never arrive.

A foolís dream, dreamt with open eyes, unrequited desire for things that are impossible, visions of plenty that the Okies dreamed of on the long road to California, evaporating in their eyes when turned back at the border and told to go home.

Sometimes, I feel like a dust bowl inside, stirring winds in need of nourishment, I know I canít get, rain that wonít come, a landscape drying up along with the dream I have no right to dream.

Shakespeare got it wrong when he had his hero questioning whether ďto beĒ or not.

Being is always the more painful, filled with the promise of pleasure, but only those who learn to snatch it up when it comes within reach ever get anything from that tree, and those who wait, and suffer, do not.

Sometimes, however, wanting what I canít have does not mean suffering.

Sometimes, it is enough to want, to know what something is worth such wanting, and that even in waiting of anticipation of something that will never occur brings a strange pleasure of its own, a kind of happiness that fills the soul. Iím like Odysseusís dog waiting for his masterís return, and upon seeing even a glimpse of his master, dies satisfied for having endured for so long.

But I avoid such glimpses, knowing that I could not survive any more than the dog did, and that at a distance, when I can hear only the thunder, I can pretend like I am master of my own fate, but the touch of rain on my face, the sight of it flowing through my world, the spray filling my mouth would undo me, and I would Ė like an idiot telling his tale Ė would stutter and† fail, all bravado stripped from me, leaving me with only the option of surrender.

I wait for rain that will never come, and find comfort in having it linger at the edges of my senses, imagined and yet unimaginable, full of beauty and promise, and always peril.




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