amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, July 03, 2008

blue sky people / grey sky people

cloud magazine, issue 5
bridgehead, bank & gilmour, 8am

the blue sky people are complaining about the rain. in june we had 22 days of rain. i remember being quite happy in june. blue sky people complain more about the weather than grey sky people. when do you ever hear a grey sky person say “i wish it would rain more.”

GSPs tend to keep their complaints to themselves because they know the BSPs will mock them. who doesn’t enjoy a nice blue sky and endless sunshine? that’s like not liking christmas. the peer pressure to convert to blueskyism is great. sometimes you have to hide your greyskyist views behind fake smiles and sunscreen.

to me— an out of the closet grey sky person— there’s nothing like rain or a storm to bring out the vitality of the day. on blue sky days, people meander along, get distracted by butterflies and can’t even hold a decent conversation, so enamoured are they by the (so-called) gorgeous weather. and they drink cocktails or flavoured martinis in the afternoon while lounging by a pool. i am bored already.

on grey sky days, folks act with purpose, even if that purpose may be to get out of the rain; although no self-respecting grey sky person wants to get out of the rain unless it's into bed with a lover or a good book or into a pub. the sky may be grey but the air is multi-coloured with umbrellas, rain coats and rubber boots. squint or drink a few swigs of hard liquor from the metal flask in your pocket and you’ll feel like you’re a deep sea diver in tropical waters, gazing at exotic, striped, dotted and shimmering fish darting in and out of cafes, crevices and alleyways.

how do you spot a fellow grey sky person? they mostly eschew raingear except for during the biggest downpours; when you pass a fellow GSP in the rain, the two of you will share a secret smile. and they will not be singing “grey skies are gonna clear up, put on a happy face” but rather “singing in the rain.” on rainy days, the cafes are crowded with GSPs quietly celebrating so as not to draw unwanted attention.

it’s tragic to see the bias against GSPs in society. for example, what’s that expression “doesn’t know enough to come in out of the rain”? to linger in the rain is not to be a rube or half-wit, but to luxuriate in the sensuality of saturation, the rhythms, perfumes and sites of water.

Tina Turner and before her, Ann Peebles sings “I can’t stand the rain against my window, bringing back sweet memories.” that’s the kicker, rain makes us melancholy, sad, dips us into a Proustian teacup filled with irish whisky instead of tea.

BSPs want to be happy. GSPs are somewhat suspicious of blue sky happiness. it feels fleeting, ephemeral, unreal like the sky in an old painting, whereas grey sky sadness is soaked into the skin by the damp drizzle and the fog.

nothing makes me more anxious than a silent and cloudless blue sky. there’s nothing to look forward to. it’s blue and that’s all it’s going to be. no dark clouds with the promise of lightning, no ozone in the air, no spark of possibility.

what i need, what all grey sky people need is the ambiguous blur of a sky full of rain, the feeling that at any moment the clouds will let go. the sadness will take hold of us. the songs and the stories and the whisky will flow.

one of the reasons why i always enjoy a good gothic novel or the blues is because of the rain.

i urge you to talk up the rain to your fellow cube mates. name some good rainy books, stories, films, songs, plays, musicals, paintings, sculptures, graphic novels, postage stamps, locales best viewed in the rain...

No comments: