Togetherness is always dry

To walk in the rain with someone you love. There’s nothing like it, especially in Seattle. You know that soon, you’ll be together and warm inside. And dry. You’ll hear the rain in all its music: on windowpanes, the roof, on the pavement. It’s a reminder that the elements can be appreciated for that they are: the fundamental building blocks of human experience.

Rainy Night in Seattle

a rainy night in Seattle, photograph by John Lane

Yet, there is another building block to shower us with beauty and pain: that of human relationship. It is, in fact, a ship of sorts: a vehicle of togetherness. And like much of human experience the journey of love requires safe passage. The ship must be sound, waterproof, stable, dry.

Alas, it is the journey itself that will test the Jesus Bolts of every relationship to its deepest girders. Teeth will rattle loose, challenging the greatest of the natural elements for supremacy in the battle to wreak havoc upon the human soul.

But this is not that night. Tonight, we will turn in before an amber woodstove fire and listen to the heart of the rain beat its distrant drum outside, knowing simply that we are together – and dry.

A Gentleman Comes to Call

Endless Summer 1979

A Gentleman Comes to Call.

Afternoon on the veranda and visiting hours are open. The gentleman leans down into the personal space of the young woman. This is his only hope for a prospect of intimacy; meanwhile a seemingly obsequious mother occupies herself with her handwork. A conversation is in play with eyes and words which we can only imagine.

The gentleman holds firmly to the rail, taking care not to lose his footing, which is none too secure. The young woman holds something: is it a muff, handwork, a gift, or some type of defensive instrument? Friendship carries its risks and its joys. Fenced in, and at a disadvantage in her chair, she has no where to maneuver. The beau and the mother bar her retreat. Only toward us can there be any hope of escape. Her innocence and youth; could that be the white gift she still grasps?

This is an encaustic work on paper by artist Elizabeth Luallen from her Endless Summer Collection. This piece was created in the early 1980s. Elizabeth Luallen lived from 1932-1995.