Saturday, June 02, 2007

Smoking Swamps, Part 9

Photos of Rain

This is a shot of the east side of the front porch, the verandah. I wanted to take a shot facing east but I didn't want to get off the porch and get wet. You can see the rain coming down off the roof at the top of the picture. Houses in our neighborhood are old, and they're built in the historical architectural style, without gutters. It's really a nice feature. When it rains in the summer we sit on the verandah, watching the rain pour off the roof. Sometimes we drink some red wine when we sit out there. If we had gutters, we wouldn't have our own waterfall.

Here's another shot of the verandah. That's the swing in the background. Linda wanted me to include a photo that gave you all an idea of the size of this porch. I don't think there's enough rain in this picture but I'll include it anyway.

This is my neighbor Irvin's water drain. Irvin runs the Fairview Inn, a very nice B & B next door. That's rain coming out of his water spigot, drain, gutter, whatever it's called.

I just realized Irvin must have gutters. Poor guy. When it stops raining tomorrow, I'll ask him if he needs help taking them down.

We're moving to the backyard now. I took about 47 photos of the backyard, the pool, the rain gauge, and all the puddles on the drive way, but my hands were shaking with excitement so most of those pictures came out looking like my hands were shaking. A couple survived. Here's one:

I just noticed that Billie Holiday is on the CD player. She's singing, "Look, how it's raining, daddy, look how it's raining, the wind keeps blowing, and look how it's raining, daddy, look how it's raining. It's raining all the time."

It's a blues song she's singing. There's sorrow and loss and enought pain for a churchful of sinners in it, and you can feel it all coming up from the bottom soul of her voice like rising water.

And I'm listening to her blues and thinking, "Today, Billie, it's a good day in Georgia," and on the CD she's singing, "Ain't the rain just beautiful, some people say."


Urkat said...

Beautiful photo of the bricks. I don't know when I've seen a lovelier. We can learn a lot from listening to old songs, but most people are convinced new is better. I used to kid my Dad about watching old westerns like Gunsmoke. My argument was that people don't really act like that. Years later, he's still watching and I've found out those old shows are far more true to life than I ever imagined.

John Guzlowski said...

Thanks for the comment on the bricks. I'm not sure you're serious, but thanks anyway. I was trying to catch the look of "wet" and snapped too many pictures. The only ones that really gave the sense of depth and the sense of wave I was looking for were the photos of the patio bricks.

About old westerns, I guess I'm with your dad on this. I see a lot of truth in old westerns. In fact, I'll watch just about anything with a horse. There's something essential about a landscape and a person travelling through it without benefit of car/plane/train. It could be happening now; it could be happening ten thousand years ago.

Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite recent writers, and he seems to know this as well as anybody. You read a novel of his like The Road or No Country for Old Men or Blood Meridian, and you know you are thinking about things that are important and that all people have been thinking about since Noah was a baby and that you need to think about finally.

John Guzlowski said...

My old friend Pete who I haven't seen in 37 years sent me a note about the architectural aspects of my posting about the rain, and my inability to tell the difference between an elbow and a spigot. Here it is:

So, I read that it has been raining on your blog. Does that mean that the fires are out now?
That's an elbow at the bottom of your neighbor's downspout. A spigot
is a manually controlled valve or a type of pipe joint. If you don't
have gutters on a wood house, you need to at least have well drained
gravel or lawn to deflect water so less will splash onto the wood. If
there is bare soil, mud will splash onto your siding where it will provide a medium for the growth of mold and mildew which will rot your house away right out from under you. In your climate, wood rots really fast.

Urkat said...

John, I was serious about the bricks. I love photos that resemble abstract paintings. That's a good one. Your friend who differentiated between elbows and spigots should have done the same for mold and mildew. I'm not sure I could tell them apart--haha.

John Guzlowski said...

Urkat, I feel the same way about abstract photos. The tension between meaning and non-meaning, concrete and abstract, really makes a photo sing.