04 October 2010


today the wind blew up with the sound of a tempest raging over the city, threatening to tear roofs from buildings and uproot trees and as i watched the trees bending and bowing under the ghastly strength of the wind and listened to the storm blast around outside, blowing open the door and seeming strong enough to sweep any unfortunate pedestrian off her destabilized feet, suddenly sirens and horns began to call as ambulances went whirring by and i was filled with a sudden anxiety creeping up to make me imagine scenes of destruction and woe--tornadoes raged across Provo and torrential rains left our city soggy beneath the deep flood waters that would grow higher and higher and i wasn't scared at all, but excited. and of course i never thought we'd have such adventures, but i wished they would come, masochistically or "savagely," perhaps. and i thought maybe my childhood enjoyment of Mary Poppins blowing in on a storm clinging to her ever handy umbrella or Dorothy being whisked away to Oz in a funnel of dust and debris has fostered in me romantic ideas of such natural phenomena. But then, perhaps storms are always romantic. and mysterious. and opptunities for adventure and an almost magical separation from reality. . .

so now, sitting at my desk watching the dark sky cloud with dust and seeing leaves shaking and scattering from the trees, i felt akin to G.K. Chesterton and his optimistic views of such things. if i'm crazy, at least i'm not alone!

"I feel an almost savage envy on hearing that London has been flooded in my absence, while I am in the mere country. My own Battersea has been, I understand, particularly favoured as a meeting of the waters. Battersea was already, as I need hardly say, the most beautiful of human localities. Now that it has the additional splendour of great sheets of water, there must be something quite incomparable in the landscape (or waterscape) of my own romantic town. Battersea must be a vision of Venice. The boat that brought the meat from the butcher’s must have shot along those lanes of rippling silver with the strange smoothness of the gondola. The greengrocer who brought cabbages to the corner of the Latchmere Road must have leant upon the oar with the unearthly grace of the gondolier. There is nothing so perfectly poetical as an island; and when a district is flooded it becomes an archipelago.

"Some consider such romantic views of flood or fire slightly lacking in reality. But really this romantic view of such inconveniences is quite as practical as the other. The true optimist who sees in such things an opportunity for enjoyment is quite as logical and much more sensible than the ordinary “Indignant Ratepayer” who sees in them an opportunity for grumbling."

from On Running After One's Hat by G.K. Chesterton
read this essay on Quotidiana.org

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