Monday, October 04, 2010

Monday Mix Tape: [the rainy-day edition]

 i chose a theme, found variations on the theme from the world of everyday art, literature, music, film, television, internet, travel, and mashed them together into one post, like separate tracks on a mixtape, see?

track 1: the teaser
Andrew Shipman

track 2: notes on a theme

One of my best-kept secrets in life is how much I love the Eddie Rabbitt hit, I Love a Rainy Night.  I pretty much adore that song.  I pretty  much adore rainy nights. And rainy days.  In fact, my perfect climate would be two or three rainy days per every sunny day.

I think it's because I'm a notorious cocooner.   My happiest moments are spent bundled up with a blanket, mug of tea and a book -- maybe a little Billie Holliday playing in the background.  In the summer, it can be the sound of rain through the screened windows.  In the winter, the sound of raindrops dropping on the glass panes, maybe a small fire crackling in the livingroom fireplace.  If it's evening, the tea might be swapped out for a fat glass of merlot.

It may be for the same reasons I love being near any body of moving water.  The activity going on around me allows my head to settle down, to focus on things like reading, wondering, imagining, dreaming, musing, pondering, writing.  As vital for my health and well-being as breathing, eating, sleeping.  When its bright and buzzy outside, I feel like I should be out there doing more physical kind of things.  Still enjoyable, but way down on my list compared to cocooning kinds of things.

When I was a little girl, I have several distinct memories of my mom building blanket-and-broom tents in the living room for my brother and me to settle underneath with books, tapes, coloring.  Maybe its the same reason newborns like to be swaddled.  Or why adult women prize their sweats and hoodies above just about every other apparel.  Warm, cozy comfort.  We never outgrow the need.

I hope you get some time today to enjoy rainy-day comforts.

track 3: rainy day (and night) music

track 4: rainy-day reading

More than just a play-on-words, The Small Rain by Madeleine L'Engle is a delightful rainy-day read.  The 371-page novel focuses on yet another enchanting L'Engle leading lady, Katherine Forrester.  I'm glad that I read some of the author's autobiography pieces (A Circle of Quiet, Two-Part Invention) before reading this novel. It allowed me to see so much of the young, and grown, Madeleine in the artistic, sometimes lonely life of a girl-come-of-age Katherine.  

In Small Rain, Katherine grows as an emerging concert pianist searching for meaningful relationships with those who will understand her out-of-the-ordinary musician's life.  Many of the usual elements are here:  lonely, misunderstood girl struggles to make good friends, find love and purpose in life.  Even so, I continue to adore the characters and settings (from Greenwich Village to France!).  I look forward to reading the follow-up story of Katherine Forrester as an older woman in A Severed Wasp.

track 5: rainy-day vintage music video

Growing up, my father often reminded us his two celebrity crushes:  Annette Funicello and Karen Carpenter.  Between you and me, I think one of these things is not like the other!  Maybe this is why  my absolute favorite days ever are Rainy Days and Mondays?

Hope your week is full of beauty.  I'd love to hear what kind of art you are enjoying in your everyday. Since linking is so much fun,  I'm also linking to Life Made Lovely.  Links all around!

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