Sunday, July 26, 2009

QQF: A Shakespearean Storm

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

King Lear, Act 3, Scene 2

I was coming home from Long Island around 5:00 p.m. on the Long Island Rail Road today. When we reached Jamaica, we sat in the station for several minutes, waiting for a connecting train.

Out of nowhere it started raining, squalling, teaming, raging. The rain came fast and heavy, and the wind was so strong that it blew the sheets of water horizontal.

Then we all heard it and saw it: hailstones! Hailstones, the size of a nickel. Someone yelled out: "how can there be this ice IN JULY." The hail pelted the train; a young woman on the station bent down to pick up one of the ice crystals. It was a very cinematic moment. If we were in Batman movie, it would have been from a villain, showering Gotham with jewels in order to enslave it. If we were in Neil Gaiman story the ice would be tears from a princess trapped in the heavens.

The hail lasted only for a minute or so. Then we pulled out of the station, and there, over the rail yard, was an enormous rainbow, fully formed, fully arced. Heavens and saints begorrah.

When I got to the Upper, Upper West Side, the storm had followed me, and it was raining hard. For several hours now there has been sporadic thunder, with wild lightening bolts framed in the living room window. Days like this--with nature releasing so much powerful energy, and hailstones in July--it feels like anything is possible.