I got soaked coming home on my bike today. I was tired, grumpy and cold, and I didn't want freezing rain seeping into my clothes and brain. But when I finally stopped fighting it and pulled onto the final stretch of pathway by my road, it was bliss.
It can have a humbling effect, rain, washing away all the rotten muck, inside and out. It leaves you soggy and humbled, wide-eyed, eyelashes dripping on the ground. I feel like I lose about twenty-five years from my face when the rain’s coming down on me, and I’m left squishing in my shoes, smiling to myself.
It feels appropriate that tonight the rain is pouring down, covering the streets, clogging up the pavements. It’s sliding off the sides of houses, tapping on windowpanes. But even rainwater isn’t pure anymore.
Where is purity to be found these days, in myself, in this world? When life and the world gets so complicated, when there’s so much inside everyone struggling to live and be heard and assert itself; hating and loving, trying and failing, willing itself into existence and back out again, giving and taking. Where is the fresh clean water, the air flowing through?
What is purity anyway? Is it even a thing in itself? Pure good, pure evil, pure anger, pure as the driven snow, as the best cocaine. Something without blemish or taint, uncracked, incorruptible.
I guess I think purity’s wherever there's love and kindness. Love and kindness are beautiful, humbling. Every time I come across them, I'm stopped in my tracks.
It’s no coincidence I’m wondering about these things on Good Friday. I’ve heard the story of Jesus’ crucifixion many times during my life (mainly as a child), but I can’t picture the weather at the time. It probably was stormy and the sky went black when he died. But I can’t believe that at some point it didn’t rain. It must have rained after he died. To wash all that pain away, to purify such terribleness.
It is finished. That’s what he said just before he died. It is finished. It never was.
I’ve been listening to this old Timmy Thomas song a lot in the last couple of days. Back in the Acid House days of the late 1980s, it was one of those ‘end of the night’ songs that truly reminded me of that pure urge that was there inside me in the first place, that made me want the drugs, the dancing, the ecstasy... the skewed religion of it all. It feels appropriate somehow to share it tonight. Happy Easter.