In A Rainstorm

Pic of the day, part i:  Pallas Athene, by Gustav Klimt


I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure characters is the only thing that can produce fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always tempts its owners irresistibly to abuse it.
Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?

Albert Einstein,  The World as I See It


The world as I saw it at 5:02 pm today:

The rain fell hard enough to make one wonder if the heavens were pouring an ocean on an area the size of a city block.  In all my years I had never seen as much rain fall as I did that day.  My shower doesn’t run that hard, and mine is pretty damned good.  I’m not sure that my faucet runs that hard.    With an umbrella I was soaked within 30 feet of leaving work.  My feet were soaked before I had gone 5 paces.

I laughed like a kid in it.  Smiled to show the whole world just how pleased I was.  The woman standing inside the loading dock having a cigarette looked at me with her cragged face and with a crooked smile shining from ear to ear showed me that I was not the only one enjoying it.  Then the noise of happy kids sounded across the as they ran, four of them but with only 3 umbrellas for the train.  The three with the umbrellas were giggling and getting soaked because the girl without the umbrella was laughing happily and running just ahead of them.  They tried to keep up and keep her under it, and at a few points were able to get her head under the umbrella for a few steps.  To her it was a game.  They wanted her under the umbrella.  She wanted no part of it.

It was fun to watch the sheer joy of kids just being kids in a rainstorm.

And I understand that joy.  Not everyone did, but that is the beauty of it.  The rain felt good, after being nearly 100 degrees for several days, a cooling rain felt like heaven on earth, like paradise come to a small street in Queens, New York.  And when the storm came the temperature dropped about 15 degrees, and felt wonderful.  Even under my only partially working umbrella it felt great.

It’ll heat up again, there’s no doubt about that.  It’ll be 90 again soon enough, it’ll be muggy and humid soon enough.  But for me, and that woman, and those kids, that rain was about the most amazing thing in the world.  That rain made all that hard work in that stifling warehouse worth it, made those moments fighting with hundreds of pounds of marble and stone and metal worth it, made the whole world a beautiful place.

Wouldn’t have missed it for anything.


Pic of the day, part ii:  Sappho, by Gustav Klimt


I do not believe in freedom of the will. Schopenhauer’s words: “Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills” accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of freedom of will preserves me from taking too seriously myself and my fellow men as acting and deciding individuals and from losing my temper.

Albert Einstein, My Credo


That’s it from here, America.  G’night.


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