Friday, 4 January 2008

Storm Breasts of the Mother

Riding to work this morning-hitting the road as the sun rose-we were surrounded from above by threatening banks of mammatus clouds, lit from within by dangerously white lightning.

About 2 km from work, a shaft of lightning hit the ground and the clouds just let go. We couldn't see 2 metres in front of us and of course a lot of the traffic slowed down to a dangerous crawl.


Riding to work this morning, we were blessed with the presence of gorgeous banks of mammatus clouds, their substance-of-life-holding paps brooding over the highway like the multiple breasts of Diana of Ephesus, irradiated joyfully by the ionised particles of lightning.

In a crescendo, the rain descended upon the earth, softening and hydrating the parched ground as we threw up our hands and our hearts to welcome this typical Highveld summer storm.

Depends how I look at it, I suppose. As it is, the corporate environment is at its warmest and most welcoming when all around outside the glass and concrete is growling thunder and white flashes.

Last night I had to clean up and disinfect a huge gash on the front leg of our second-youngest dog, who rejoices in the name Chippy.

I don't know how he got it-but being a PitBull he probably sustained the deep wound while playing with his brother.

Chippy is perhaps our most even-tempered animal when it comes to people. He's a muscular bruiser with a scarred face, scary to look at, but he'll sit patiently for hours waiting for you to scratch his head and then lie down close to, but not on, your feet for the rest of the evening.

He submits to the vet's needle with nary a snarl and took my (must have been) painful ministrations with typical stoicism. Err-that's probably the wrong word to use for a dog but it seems to fit.

Afterwards I fetched for him a biscuit which he gobbled with glee, and I thought: when bad and hurtful things happen to us, we make it all right as long as something good arises from it-if only in our perception. This rationalisation seems to me typically human.The good may not in fact have arisen directly out of the bad, but we want to think there's some damn reason for it all, so we give the bad things a reason.

I'm pretty sure that dogs don't do this rationalising. They put up with the pain and enjoy the biscuit, end of story. They don't tie the two together in some cherem of causality and think they're better dogs because of it. Leave that to us.

By the way, if you'd like to join us in pouring some energy into the Kenyan situation -also a casualty of perception and rationalisation- follow this link over to Cat's blog, for a start.