I heard the vague, and vaguely familiar, sound of water on my rooftop Wednesday night. Could it be? They’d been predicting it. But was it really here?

pool rainI slid open the patio doors. The concrete decking around the pool glistened in the dining room light that shone upon it, and the surface of the pool danced unmistakably to the rhythm of the falling rain.

Rain!  Rain!  Glorious Rain!

How many months…or years…has it been since I’ve heard it falling from the sky above to the earth below here in Los Angeles? It seems like decades.

It continued raining lightly throughout the night with a day’s pause on Thursday and then a respectable new storm arrived on Friday and Saturday.

It is March, a time when we normally get a bit of rain here in LA. But it’s been so long, I dared not hope to see it this year. And now that the rain has come, the world seems back in order somehow. The watch work of the planets is ticking along beautifully again.

HurricaneI slid the patio door closed and realized just how out-of-sync I’ve felt lately with this ongoing drought across California and the gloom in the air that’s accompanied it.

And not just the drought, but all the news reports I find myself addictively consuming daily about ice caps melting, about polar bears stranded on ice cubes, and of fires searing the heart of the country, of oceans exploding in ever more powerful storms.

And not just weather, but of wars and famine, of genocide and torture in deserts and jungles I will never visit but which nevertheless through the wonder of satellite technology seem as if they’re right next door.

I feel myself an endangered species on my own planet. Itchy in my own skin. Deafened by the Cacophony of Doom.

I want to turn it all off. Shut down the noisemakers! Silence is what I desire! Silence is what I need!


The next morning, I took my computers and my iPad and Nettie’s laptop and our cell phones and our TVs to the backyard and dropped them all into the deep end of the pool. Glug, glug, glug…they drifted to the bottom. Bubbles rising to the surface as they sank. Good riddance I shouted at them! Good riddance!

Then I woke up…

…at my desk…my computer staring me in the face. Emails haranguing me. News services still blinking their headlines. Facebook posts demanding my attention. Texts on my phone beeping. Status update dings on my music servers…on and on they went until…

I did in fact turn off the computer. I did in fact shut down my phone. I did get out of my chair.

I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of lemon-grass tea. I walked into the backyard.

The rain had stopped. The sky had cleared. I wiped off a lawn chair and sat down.

I closed my eyes. I listened.

LeafThe birds were singing. The new-green leaves on our ash tree were glistening wet in the sunlight.

JasmineThe delicate fragrance of our blooming jasmine drifted over me.

A pleasant breeze lifted the filament hairs on my forearm as I brought the tea cup to my lips.

I breathed in deeply. I exhaled deeply. Once. Twice. Three times.

Shhh… I whispered to the voices still chattering in my head. Shhh…all is well with the world.

But they chattered on, refusing to quiet.

What can I do now? Where can I go now?

I thought of Benjamin from The Graduate. Yes that image underwater…

I knew what I had to do…the only thing I could do…

I gently lowered myself into the pool of my mind and drifted to the bottom where silence dwells and nothing can reach me.

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2 Responses to The Cacophony of Doom

  1. Beverly Pine says:

    Ahh… but it didn’t rain on the red carpet, and weren’t the dresses beautiful … and the Lord helped Matthew win the best actor award … so all must be right with the world … right???

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