October 16th, 2011

October Rain

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"Thank God for that rain out the window and for Mr. Clemente, who allowed us in ninth grade to listen to it for no reason,  in the middle of the day,  That one moment carried me a long way into my life.

I didn't know it then.  At the time i think it made me a little nervous--it was too naked, too uncontrolled, to honest.  I thought it odd,  In those days I was watching my step, making sure I knew the rules, keeping things in control.  I wore the same long, pleated skirt every day, blue cardigan sweater, oxford shoes, and carried a brown leather school bag, even while the other girls were wearing makeup, nylons, heels.  I never felt that I fit in....For fear that people would think i was weird -- I saw no one around me I could identify with -- I tried not to be noticed.  I became a nerd.  And here was Mr. Clemente who asked me to listen to the rain, to connect a sense organ to something natural, neutral, good.  He asked me to become alive.  I was scared, and I loved it."

                                                                       -- Natalie Goldberg
                                                                           in Long Quiet Highway
                                                                           Quoted in Brussat and Brussat, Spiritual Literacy