What are you doing?


Outwardly nothing.

Inwardly, I'm being with the rain.


Friends ask me what I do at our summer place. I usually give a fairly flippant answer. We swim, drink tea, eat, and sit around and talk about what we are going to eat next.

But it usually takes me about a week to switch into Matinenda time.

It's best explained that my logical brain turns off, and my sensation brain turns on. Perhaps I should say my Apollonian, verbal, digital, planners' brain shuts up, and my Dionysian, artistic, interrelational visionary brain takes over.

At the moment, I'm sitting in beauty. An afternoon thunderstorm is rampaging itself across the lake, and the surface is changing every few minutes. Dark, smoky emerald green with a mirrored surface. Now the downdraft, and it turns to rough steel, light and dark grey with multitudes of tiny cracks and breaks. The cloud's belly opens, and water sluices out.

Fish start to swim up out of the surface of the water, and skate around in the air. The first few do it tentatively, jumping up, not sure if it will really support them. Then a brave fish decides to see of he can soar, and takes off like a bird. Soon all his fishbuddies are following, and they are so unused to swimming amongst trees, that a game of tag ensues. They zip over our wet heads like hummingbirds. Hummingfish? And fish laughter follows the school/flock.


Wait, where was I? Now the lake has changed again. If anything, the sky is pouring even harder, and the lake surface is starting to bubble like a fountain. The sound on the roof tells me it's hail. We dash out, wanting to feel the cold hardness after the spongy hot humidity of earlier.

The hailstones last the longest on patches of moss. The moss elevates the hailstones a few inches into the air, where the are cooler than on the sunwarmed ground. I throw the hailstones into my tin cup, where the vaguely murky remains of a gin and tonic have been gathering pine needles. Anything that ends up in my cup here, I'll drink.

The chipmunks have a discussion, and coming to the same conclusion that I have, they start to grab the hailstones and ferry them down into their dens. They apparently save the hailstones to cool their drinks - or make ice cream? during the hot weather.


Now a shaft of sunlight has cut diagonally underneath the thunderhead. The heat and rain combine to instant fog. The nearest spot at the end of bay, a grey granite cliff, disappears. Avalon, receding into the mist. We are suddenly isolated, presented with a silver grey lake that blends into a curve of dramatic fog and black sky.

The fog shreds, and the world becomes microclimactic. One of the rays hits a patch of moss near me. Steam rises. I'm only the size of a frog, the moss my tree, the lichen my firewood, the toadstool my shelter. I have spent hours on my stomach, living in my imagined miniature home. A bonsai'd tree, flowing down the curve of promontory becomes my treehouse, as my fingers leap from branch to branch.

The storm clears.

I swim the distance from this start to the farthest point, my longest swin this summer. The water is pure silk. I gradually become more mermaid than human. I actually taste a change in the water - there is an edge here, where the water becomes less clear, slightly warmer, with a little bit muskier taste. My intellectual human brain knows that I have have entered the corner of the bay where water is more stagnant, and collects pollutants and heavy metals. Our friends down there filter before drinking. My temporary mermaid self knows just via senses, the texture of the water on my skin and the smell/taste. Getting back out on the rocks is so awkward, having to turn my body back from fluid to solid. My bones feel awkward, stiff, unnecessary. My balance wobbles. Oh, to be made of liquid always.


What are you doing?


Outwardly nothing.

Inwardly, I'm being with the water.