Death, Taxes, and Rain


Quarter of six.

High winds and it’s raining cats and dogs in the darkness before the dawn. My main anxiety is the puddle at the end of the street, where I know I’ll get my feet wet again when I go to the little store around the corner. Once bitten twice shy. Behaviorism in action. But is the dampness in the puddle or in my feet? Mind over matter. Something about rainy days promotes abstruse thinking because you tend to stay indoors; it’s a kind of solipsism, being cut off from the outside world and shut up in your head. It’s rather strange to go out and encounter the rain with no covering but for an umbrella, hoping the wind won’t turn it wrong side out. And then what happens? You get wet; but the damp is in your mind, as George Berkeley argued three centuries ago. Life is but a dream within the dream of Vishnu, for the Hindus had the same idea long before Berkeley. All the while, the rain pelts against the house, determined to get inside. I just sit here waiting for daylight to come. I infer from past experience that the sun will rise today, though nothing is a given— except the inevitability of the rain.


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