Weekend Words: Rain

Childe Hassam, “Rainy Day, Columbus Avenue, Boston” (1885). Oil on canvas, 66 x 122 cm. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio. (Image via Web Gallery of Art)

By mid-July, more rain has fallen in the New York region (5.19 inches) than the typical average for the entire month (4.6 inches).

“I live in Johannesburg — six thousand feet up — you have very different seasons. We have a sharp, cold winter. No snow — it’s rather like your late fall or early spring — sunny, fresh, cold at night. We have a very definite rainy season. But you don’t see rain for about half the year. You forget that rain exists. So it’s a wonderful feeling when you wake up one day and you smell the rain in the air. Many of the old houses, like ours, have galvanized iron or tin roofs. It’s very noisy when there’s a heavy rain — it just gallops down on the roof. The house that I was brought up in had a tin roof, so it’s one of my earliest memories, lying in bed and listening to the rain … and hail, which, of course, on a tin roof is deafening.”

—Nadine Gordimer, interview from The Paris Review, Summer 1983

“There’s always a period of curious fear between the first sweet-smelling breeze and the time when the rain comes cracking down.”

—Don DeLillo

If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning

—Frederick Douglass

“It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night.”

―Jack Kerouac, On the Road

“I want him and I need him
And someday, someway
I’ll meet him

He’ll be kind of shy
But real good lookin’ too
And I’ll be certain he’s my guy
By the things he’ll like to do

Like walking in the rain
And wishing on the stars up above
And being so in love”

—Barry Mann, Phil Spector, and Cynthia Weil, “Walking in the Rain”

“I believe in running through the rain and crashing into the person you love and having your lips bleed on each other.”

—Billy Bob Thornton

“sleeping in the rain helps me forget things like I am going
die and you are going to die and the cats are going to die
but it’s still good to stretch out and know you have arms
feet and a head, hands, all the parts, even eyes to close
more, it really helps to know these things, to know your
and your limitations, but why do the cats have to die, I
think that the
world should be full of cats and full of rain, that’s all, just
cats and
rain, rain and cats, very nice, good

―Charles Bukowski, “Storm”

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