I love rainy days. I don't know why, but I always have. I struggle with falling asleep, but thunderstorms always put me right to bed. Grey skies and the gentle patter of droplets on the roof and windows put my nerves at ease. I typically find it easier to concentrate on creative work when the sun isn't shining.
Of course, I love bright, warm days, too, but those lend themselves to different head space. They inspire long walks, disc golfing, lunch with friends on a patio, and pop music being blasted from my car's speakers. It's a social vibe, one that makes me want to move my body, whether it's in a park or in the kitchen.
However, my M.O. is to be curled up on the couch with a mug of tea or a glass of whiskey, reading a book or writing one, enjoying the quiet of an unscheduled afternoon as the giant delivery trucks rumble by our condo, creating a sort of urban thunderclap. Can you see it, almost? (Don't picture it too vividly; I'm definitely not wearing a bra in this vignette.)
The past year has taught me that I typically move too fast, work too hard, and spend my free time trying to make up for the work I burnt myself out on. I guess I've always been this way. Even in high school, I only slept a few hours a night and regularly juggled multiple after school activities at once. That's some serious sunshine energy. I carried that over to my time on the road and my master's program, during which I continued working nights.
But the sun needs the moon, and us humans need bursts of productivity and vibrance, as well as an opportunity to heal and rest. This is a consistent trope throughout religion and mythology. I bring up mythology (and religion, really) because storytelling is so closely intertwined with the human experience. It's how we learn, adapt, get in touch with our roots. In Egyptian mythology, the sun (Ra) and the god of darkness (Apep) are constantly at odds and fighting over their space in the sky. In Greek mythology, you've got Apollo (god of the sun, music, and healing) and his twin sister Artemis, the goddess of the moon, the hunt, and protector of women. In Christianity, you've got God and Satan - good and even, dualities.
All of that to say, I think balance has always been important for the human experience, and it's painted throughout all of the stories we tell ourselves. I'm saying all of this to drive my point about rainy days home. I've had a lot of bright, summer days, and I've learned that I ought to hibernate a bit more, to strike that balance.
So, on this rainy Chicago afternoon, I'm going to go to the studio and mix a track from my new album...slowly, gently, quietly, maybe even with headphones on. I'm still making up for years of sprinting during what is clearly a marathon. I'm always learning.
Until tomorrow, stay well, stay safe, and stay kind.