Monday, July 19, 2010

Librarian Needs Spelling Lessons*

Here is a picture of the storm that was taken while I could still open the front door
I was sitting out on the porch, watching a big monsoon rainstorm come in over the city in the distance. From time to time, strange white column-shaped clouds would form and reach down to the ground. I was watching these through the binoculars and wondering if they could possibly be tornadoes, when my neighbor pulled into his driveway and came over to the gate to tell me that he had just seen a tornado touch down when on his way home.

No, no, no. We moved far from Tornado Alley when we came to Las Cruces from Clovis, my mind protested. Couldn't possibly be a tornado. Could it?

Now, I have been reading Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, a book about a young wizard who doesn't yet understand how to control his powers; moreover, he uses them out of pride, and just naturally gets into trouble. Well, stay tuned for a real life lesson, right from the pages of Earthsea.

Knowing how much we needed rain, and idly thinking wouldn't it be great if I could cast a weatherbringer spell and summon some of that moisture over here, I tried holding my arms up in that classic wizard pose--but not too high, as the neighbors here are already worried about the-lady-who-drinks-wine-while-watching-the-sunset, and that nut who is always scampering around in her nightie, taking pictures of the sunrise. So, I got my arms just a teeny bit raised (while remaining seated in my rocking chair, of course) and tried to make some sparks shoot out of my fingers toward the distant storm.

You're not going to believe this, but it worked! The storm veered in my direction, and there I was out dancing in the rain, feeling like a goddess, and eating a few pieces of hail for good measure. Suddenly, the rains and winds and the general violence quotient strengthened about tenfold, and I realized it was time to grab my book and my binoculars and get inside before I blew away.

I could hardly open the door, but managed to take this one photo before things got way out of hand.

Tomorrow: A freight train passes through, and what is that awful hissing?


*Thanks to Auntie Bucksnort for the inspiration for this post title


Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Funny,funny! Being labled as the neighborhood nut case isn't so bad...go ahead and practice controlling the weather ... Let me know how that works out for ya'!

T Fab P said...

When mrsfabp showed me that picture in the mail all I could think of "Aunie Em" and wondered where the old lady on the bicycle was (NO, not you, from the movie...) Also your name is starting to take on a somewhat Native American feel to it, like "woman who calls horses, or something like that - "lady-who-drinks-wine-while-watching-the-sunset" has that sound as does woman in pajamas running with box that flashes light at the sunrise" Must be a New Mexico thing...LOL

Beth said...

Oh my...that looks pretty scary there, Clair. Put those arms down right now, you hear?

And, by the way, since I think I might have mentioned earlier that we were very dry here, I was wondering if you cast any spells eastward? *Laughs uneasily* 'Cause we got rain and wind and horrible lightning over the weekend...

Please put those arms down.

Webster said...

And don't you DARE send any of that rain up the Pacific Northwest. I've had enough already. Enough, I say! Of anything, send some sunshine!!!

Nice picture, BTW.

Val said...

Love this story!

Sandy ~~~ said...

Ha! Reminds me of my first NM thunderstorm.....that lasted 2 1/2 hours! We were stuck at a neighbors house (and they weren't home) trying to push our rental car as far up a paved driveway toward the garage as possible to stay out of the pond that was growing around us. We finally headed out toward the paved highway and found out, on Memorial Day weekend, the state was calling out the SNOW PLOWS to move the hail off the roads. I love weather!

Lynne said...

I love love love the Earthsea books...actually anything in the universe by U K Le Guin...she's one of the top writers of anything in the world in my estimation (though classed as a sci fi/fantasy writer).

I'm glad everyone is safe! And nice blog too!

clairz said...

Lynne, Barbara Robidoux used to tell me about those books and now I'm just getting around to reading them.

Lynne said...

If you have not read anything else by her, you MUST read "Four Ways to Forgiveness." Also "The Disposssed." Really, anything by her, but those two books are my fave by her. Her writing is lyrical, and explore the social structures of various kinds by using sci fi as a vehicle. True art.

I also recently read some new books by Kate Elliot - Spirit Gate, Shadow Gate, and Traitor's Gate. She creates an absolutely unique and fascinating new fantasy setting, her characters are so rich and fascinating...her women are very strong and capable.

Another set of books worthy of being praised as beyond "just fantasy books" are Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, the Amber Spyglass). They take on HUGE themes of life and death, religious dogma and freedom, all occurring in just a really fascinating new setting. The movie (Golden Compass) didn't do it justice, though the movie is what made me want to read the books.

clairz said...

Thanks, Lynne--I will add all of these to my Shelfari "books I plan to read" list. I have read the Dark Materials trilogy and loved them. The movie, though, was a big disappointment.

becky said...

did you guys have that storm this weekend, when all was clear over the hill in the high plains? such an awesome pic with the tree blowing over! your writing was great & i can just picture you dancing in the rain & popping little bits of hail in your mouth. very cute post & made me smile! remind me of john muir's quote "when i heard the storm, I made haste to join it."

clairz said...

Becky, the storm was Thursday night. We are still cleaning up!

EG CameraGirl said...

YIKES! Too much adventure for me! :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Be careful what you wish for, eh?


word verification: skwards

Looks like sky wards....your hands were held up skywards for more rain. lol!

Quiet Paths said...

That is just too frightening. Look at that wind! Please close the door and tape the windows.

I love the Le Guin's earth sea trilogy. She also has a follow up book written later called Tehanu which is just as good.

Owlfarmer said...

I was looking at your Skywatch Friday post when I saw the link to this one. Considering the nature of weather here, I had to take a peek. The shot of the storm is terrific, and I loved the reference to The Wizard of Earthsea. I had just been thinking about Ged for some other reason, and had to laugh at the mention of a weather spell. We could use some rain here, but I'm afraid the cost will be tornado watches.

Glad you made it through!

Linda said...

I hope you were thinking of Ged or Vetch rather than Jasper!

All neighbours with Skywatchers next door must think we're crazy.

Have you read Ursula Le Guin's 'The Left Hand of Darkness'? It is one to read and re-read, like the Earthsea trilogy, and it's threaded through my life: