The title is a phrase I learned in childhood. It goes, “Rain, rain, go away, come back some other day.” In a Peanuts comic strip from the early 1960s, Linus Van Pelt, Lucy’s brother, stands out in the rain saying this and all of a sudden it stops raining. He runs into his house, terrified that he has messed with the powers of the Universe.
Well, a few days ago a powerful storm pounded all of California and my little town received nearly four inches of rain. My back yard looked like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, back in 2005. It took all night and most of the next day for all the water to soak in. And now it’s raining again, just 3 days later.
Besides my back yard, how bad was it? My town became an island, with towns and cities all around it flooding, wary citizens evacuating. All roads going anywhere were either flooded, washed out, or closed because of heavy snowfalls.
There aren’t enough National Guardsmen and first responders to cover all of the state’s emergency needs.
How ironic is it that I just finished rewriting a novel where my heroes had to walked miles and miles through driving rains only to cross a flooded river which two days before was nearly dry. I don’t know if I jinxed my state and town with a reverse version of “Rain, rain, go away…” but it certainly feels like it.
It’s kind of a version of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Earlier today, I drove to a nearby city across partially-flooded roads, and after arriving at my destination, friends of mine asked me what the conditions were like. I replied that I felt like a World War 2 German U-boat commander, only I couldn’t find any Allied shipping to sink. It’s amazing how few people really understood what I was talking about, and even fewer who thought it was funny. I’m beginning to think that Americans haven’t just lost their sense of humor but that they’ve also lost their imaginations and ability to deal with abstract ideas.
Among the things that writers need to do when communicating with readers is use their imaginations and present abstract ideas in a readable fashion. But what if readers are losing their imaginations and ability to understand abstract ideas?
Well, we just have to make sure that people get the chance to use their imaginations, else we’re screwed.
That’s it for now. Gotta get some sleep so I can sweep water away from my home.