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they sicken of the calm

12 June 2009 no comment

Last night, a line of bad weather stretched laterally across most of Kentucky, and was moving south toward Nashville.  We were under a Tornado Watch for about an hour and a half.  One of the great benefits of a storm door (which we only recently installed; I’ve never lived at a place with one before now) is the ability to open the main door and watch the outside through a safely-locked triple-pane of glass.  The wind began to thrash the tops of the trees; the darkness over the neighborhood was pierced in staccato bursts by flashes of bright violet.  I opened the door to step onto our landing.  The bunny that munches clover in our yard was absent; our local spiders had rolled up and tucked away their webs.  The nightbirds that often sing into the darkness were silent.  The swiftly-lowering pressure was pulling the air from my lungs and my skin.   As the wind-laced silence permeated the neighborhood, my mind (as so often happens) began its internal soundtrack.  Track One was an old favorite of mine.

Oh, the waves crash in, and the tide pulls out
It’s an angry sea, but there is no doubt
That the lighthouse will keep shining out
To warn the lonely sailor
And the lightning strikes
And the wind cuts cold
Through the sailor’s bones
To the sailor’s soul
‘Til there’s nothing left that he can hold
Except the rolling ocean

But I am ready for the storm
Yes sir, ready
I am ready for the storm
I’m ready for the storm

Oh, give me mercy for my dreams
For every confrontation seems to tell me
What it really means
To be this lonely sailor;
But when the sky begins to clear
And the sun, it melts away my fear
I’ll cry a silent, weary tear
For those that need to love me

But, distance – it is no real friend
And time, it takes its time
But you will find that in the end
It brings you me,
This lonely sailor
And when You take me by the hand
And You love me warm; You love me,
And I should have realized
I had no reasons to be frightened

But I am ready for the storm
Yes, I’m ready
I am ready for the storm
I’m ready for the storm

(Dougie Maclean, 1993)

Anton Melbye, 1853 - The Gathering Storm

(Anton Melbye, 1853 – The Gathering Storm)

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