Wednesday, December 29, 2010

For Spacious Skies and Rainy Weather

I got this book by Eric Sloane for Christmas. It's a wonderful, informative read! I came across some interesting comments about weather and creativity, and found it delightful that today it just so happens to be raining (again!) in Southern California. Listen to what Mr. Sloane has to say:

"Rainy days are regarded as depressing, not conducive to work, yet I find that my best writing and painting occurs during the lowering pressure of stormy days. When the day is dreary and the falling barometer fortells a storm, I hurry home to my studio to make use of the "good weather" for working.

The American naturalist John Burroughs said, 'Rain is an necessary to the human mind as to vegatation. My very thoughts become thirsty, and I crave moisture'. Before a storm, animals and insects become nervous; flies bite, fish rise, dogs become alert, birds dress their feathers, horses get quick-tempered and are liable to bolt. Lowering air pressure releases gases and odors that stimulate animal sensitivity. It is natural to presume that humans, too, react to pre-storm weather; at least they feel some sort of restlessness conducive to creativity (I wonder if this contributes to my impulsive decision to drive to Idyllwild yesterday..?)  You will hear an artist or writer say that he can do his best work 'near a fireplace, snug inside while the weather is roaring outside'. His ideas are stimulated by the slight reduction of oxygen in his arteries, possibly to the extent of one glass of wine. I find that on so-called good days I enjoy resting or vacationing with less thought of work, while written thoughts and paintings pour forth copiously in hurricane weather.

Perhaps that old thrill of walking in the rain (remember it?) will come back someday and there will be more weather-minded people to enjoy whatever the sky happens to have in store for us. To those who remark, 'Isn't it a rotten day?' I reply 'Yes, but isn't it a wonderful rotten day!' I think I shall buy rubber boots again and enjoy the pleasure of sloshing" (Sloane 41-42).

What do you think? Are you more creative when it rains?


Lauren Gallegos said...

Most definitely! More creative, and more productive! When it's nice warm weather, I feel like I'm missing out on something fun by staying inside and working. But when It's raining and stormy, I know there probably isn't anything worth going out for, so my mind stays focused on my work, instead of drifting off. Awesome passage! Thanks for sharing! :)

Katy Betz said...

I couldn't agree more with your comment! The sunshine makes me want to play instead of work. The sound and rhythm of the rain keep me focused. Hope you are coming along on your paintings! Let's catch up soon.