6.02.2007,7:58 PM
Aftermath of the storm
morning storm panb_2

Lightening, thunder....... they captivate me. I'm drawn to their beauty, power, fury, their many guises: deafening snap that you can feel inside your body, to the soft rumbling reverberating between the hills and echoes as it leaves like a lover dissolving into the night. The arcs of instantaneous white or violet ribbons, sometimes sharply-defined forked spears and strokes, from cloud to cloud, or cloud to ground; or massive blinding white illuminating the landscape for barely a second, tricking you into seeing what is not really there.

Then again, the silent sprites that I saw last night, the diffused lavender, orange and silver sprite lightening, plasma-like flashing above and hidden by the clouds. Giant fireflies playing hide and seek behind gossamer drapes.

I love thunderstorms. Nowhere I have been yet in all my years are they as majestic as they are in Texas. The valley in Oregon rarely had thunderstorms, and...oh, did I miss them. All those years I lived in the foothills of the coastal range, watching fog from the Pacific coast slide over the mountain tops, and down their sides like ethereal dense smoke, the fingers at the forefront caressing the giant Doug fir trees, and eventually settling on the pastures of the valley floor below the house.

Every day between 4 and 5 pm, the fog would slowly roll and descend. I would stand in awe, as if I was watching a living entity creep down over the mountain and the sheep would one by one lay down on the grass and chew their cud. They sensed it coming, too.

But never did I see a thunderstorm there, except for an occasional heat lightening, tame flashes in the eve of hot summer nights.

Here, they reign. And the expanses of the landscapes bow to their magnificence.

I sometimes will stand outside and watch them move in from the west and north until they are almost upon me. At times I have stood in the middle of my living room with all the windows open, no lights on, and surrender in the midst of it all. I can feel them, my hair will raise and my skin tingle. I have sometimes, albeit rarely, tasted a close bolt of lightening in the air.

Twice in Maine I've experienced what is referred to as ball lightening. Once when I was in the fire tower on Streaked Mountain, where I substituted half the summer as a watcher, and another time inside a small green house.

In the fire tower, a blue white ball of lightening discharge flowed along the edge of the metal azimuth in the middle of the tower cabin which was about 150 feet above ground. I stood rooted to the floor in a corner and watched it in amazement for about five eternal seconds. Then was deafened when it exploded and blinded by whiteness. I could smell and taste the ozone inside, while my heart pounded against my tingling skin.

Lightening is my natural phenomenological anima. They infuse me with a primal strength, they are sensuous, they challenge my humanness and take me with them. They rock me gently to sleep as they creep away, with their echoes as my lullaby.

It is one of the most deadly natural weather phenomena on this planet, yet so beautifully magnificent.

And in the aftermath of the storm early this morning, as the sun barely peaked over the horizon, the clouds that followed the storm boiled in the sky. Again, so beautiful and full of depth. In a large bath towel after my morning shower, I grabbed the camera and went outside to see and try to capture what I saw.

Until the next storm.


posted by Macrobe
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