Skip to main content

The Storm of Thought


There is a storm coming, my father reports this morning over coffee. True enough I woke up to faint raindrops on my bedroom window and to an otherwise dry and grey Saturday morning; perfect for staying in a bed that I have missed and misused recently. Today is going to be a lazy day--so I declared and got up at seven.

I have a complicated relationship with the weather--particularly with the rain. I'm one of the few who enjoy rain; and though I do particularly hate how I look when I am soaked (especially, for example, when I go to class with muddy shoes), I do love the idea of being unprepared for an immediate gush of water which my golf umbrella cannot negotiate with (especially, for example, when by some unusual instance the rain goes sideways, having to make you prioritize whether to protect your head or your body). I also enjoy driving in the rain--because all the rest slow down, and though it spells slower traffic at least I have something to watch (pedestrians and their awkward umbrellas, cars passing through deep puddles of water splashing on those pedestrians, and traffic enforcers revealing their humanity by wearing ugly raincoats or retreating to the nearest watershed). Even the sound of rain interests me; I find it unfair that the sun delivers us only warmth without accompanying audio; at least the rain and its angered clouds also sends heralds in claps of thunder, warning us; and more importantly, the raindrops ease audibly what could be an otherwise confining situation where you have to stay indoors or remain trapped under cover--like piped in music which you can listen or just as easily ignore.

The rain distracts me. It shows me that there is an unreal world outside me, that there is a world beyond me. Objects never intrude my space; so do other people if I do not allow them. But the rain--never mind yet storms and floods, cyclones and hurricanes, the destruction and death they may bring--the rain does not choose who it wants to trouble (the prim and proper young lady in high heels, the vulturous policeman, the professor who is always ready with an umbrella who at least finds it amusing every now and then how others did not have the same great foresight he has).

But--what is rain really? Nothing, just wind and water, nature's way of renewing itself, cleaning itself, the sky giving back what it owed the earth. The rain fails to amaze anyone anymore: however it may trouble us, change our plans (day trips to the beach, walks in the city, etc.) give us the occasional colds, it fails to surprise us thanks to the warning of darkened skies or the forecast of the weather sciences.

That it comes when everybody knows when it is coming: perhaps the rain does not mind this. Because it still knows that no matter how many wet days we have seen, it knows that it can still have the ability to impress--the subtle-minded at least. Like thought which changes nothing or changes everything.

The philosopher Martin Heidegger likened thinking to being in the middle of a storm. Like firemen who rush toward the fire when everyone else runs away from it, thinkers station themselves in the vortex of a hurricane. Those who retreat to the cool solace of writing, Heidegger says, instead of remaining in the storm of thinking are like those who look for the nearest shed and avoid the experience of the storm as storm. It is always easy to retreat: the written page saves you from forgetfulness and affords you some hope of understanding and thereby immortality. But the point was to stand in the lighting of thinking: watch it, catch it, even get hit by it. To remain in the storm, however, means not only do you endanger your life but also take a chance on being forgotten. He who thinks alone--and one cannot but think alone--without saying it or saving it, or without writing it, risks beings lost to forgetfulness--merely another nameless casualty of a storm that came too early or too strong to escape from. One such thinker was Socrates who did not write anything. Heidegger called him "purest thinker" of the West.



  1. i'm among those who're not very fond of an inclement weather. rain depresses me, but when i read this entry, it made me see rain in a new light... and i thank you for that (=


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Fields of Amorsolo

The first National Artist in Philippine history, referred to warmly as the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art,” Fernando Amorsolo (1892–1972) still stands today as a looming figure in Philippine art responsible for being one of the artists who helped define what we up to now visually imagine as essentially Filipino. The images of rural life, of golden fields below clear blue, blue skies; the smiles of farmers which diminish their weariness as they plant, harvest, and winnow rice;most especially the iconic figure of the Filipina maiden working in the fields—the beloved dalagang bukid--; these, I believe, even after generations of Filipino painters since Amorsolo, have remained in our hearts and memory. Amorsolo did what great masters do for their country: bestow upon it its own icons, represent its native beauty, that is, to give its people and lands an identity and a face. There are, however, as many intentions for art as there are works of art. And these intentions will always remain in…

[Payapang Daigdig]

Written by Pat Nogoy, S.J.

Payapang Daigdig Felipe de Leon, Sr. 
Ang gabi'y payapa Lahat ay tahimik  Pati mga tala      Sa bughaw na langit 

Kay hinhin ng hangin Waring umiibig          Sa kapayapaan          Ng buong daigdig     
Payapang panahon    Ay diwa ng buhay Biyaya ng Diyos       Sa sangkatauhan
Ang gabi'y payapa Lahat ay tahimik Pati mga tala Sa bughaw na langit  
Pati mga tala           Sa bughaw na langit

The gift delivers Being/being Jean Luc Marion

There is something about the night.
The blanket of darkness hovering the other half of the day sparks ambivalence. Everything is the same in darkness—fear, joy, pain, triumph, doubt, glory, sorrow. Identities recede unto the vast anonymity. There is a pervading anxiety where existence slips into nothingness. One is never certain what to make out of darkness; maybe that is why the night shakes us because we never know. One cannot avoid imagining a something that is greater, higher, mightier, (even sinister) that lurks (hence the power of ghos…

A Love Sooner than Later

BROWN PENNY William Butler YeatsI whispered, 'I am too young,' And then, 'I am old enough'; Wherefore I threw a penny To find out if I might love. 'Go and love, go and love, young man, If the lady be young and fair.' Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, I am looped in the loops of her hair. O love is the crooked thing, There is nobody wise enough To find out all that is in it, For he would be thinking of love Till the stars had run away And the shadows eaten the moon. Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny, One cannot begin it too soon.

One cannot begin to love too soon--conversely, one should not love too late or in life's demise. That waiting for the "right time," or the "right person" to love, what are these but the cries or sighs of an unready, even tired, heart? One becomes ready only when one begins to understand love slowly (or again), and one understands love progressively when one, simply, performs the act of love. Love, like mos…