Far from letting up, the rainy season appears to have rolled up its sleeves and begun its work in earnest. It has been raining without end for the past two days now, and Friday boasts a similar forecast; in fact, according to weather.com, storms are predicted for Osaka all the way through the 29th and beyond. The water falls steadily, solemn as a coffin. In its effect, it's as good as any set of prison bars.
This circumstance has added a new challenge to my morning commute. Skirts are a must, as pants quickly succumb to the creeping moisture of puddles. I only have one working pair of dress shoes even remotely able to cope with the deluge, though I wonder if patent leather will last another 10 days of this... The most trying aspect of the weather, however, is simply working up the will to actually go forth into it. Establishing a brisk pace upon venturing out seems to help. I generally set some appropriately timed song to endlessly repeat on my ipod, and use that to keep up a steady gait: this morning 'Blue Orchid' by The White Stripes carried me safely through; tomorrow, I'm thinking 'Rebellion' by Arcade Fire might be a good choice.
Yet despite my best efforts, I find I arrive at work damp from roughly the elbow down and the shoulder blade up. My hair is to thank for the second condition. It falls just a couple of inches above my elbow, and acts as a wick, drawing the rain up my back to the nape of my neck. The constant slight physical discomfort has the weird side effect of heightening my corporeal sense of self. I feel awake all over. Or maybe that's just The White Stripes talking... Either way, it's a strange contrast to the monotony of unfaltering thunderless rainfall. The days blur into each other, like passing train cars.
At work, we have been leaving CNN on, so as to follow the growing disaster in Lebanon. Standing by my desk, attempting to dry myself sufficiently with the rotating fan so as to be able to sit in my chair without drenching it, I find the TV filled with images I can not begin to connect to reality. There has been enough said on the subject of disporportionality that I do not feel the need to add to the discussion; I would like to think that I could never comprehend the level of hatred and desperation that haunts the players involved. But I know, too, that the fighting in the Middle East is a concious choice of both sides, and not some inherent, unappeasable force of nature as the longevitiy of the conflict would lull one into believing. It can be stopped. I still remember my father waking me up in the middle of the night when Yitzhak Rabin was shot, how worried he looked in the digital glow of the television set, and how I struggled to understand the depth of what was vexing him. I was 16 then. The import of that moment is revealed to me more and more everyday. Reading Rabin's eulogies now, I fervently wish that he had lived. I hope that Israel finds another pillar of fire to lead them out of this current desert. And I'm praying for Lebanon.