Somewhere in Japan

Dispatch № 70: Rainfall

The uniformity of the steady rain’s sound does not hold up under close scrutiny. Though comprised of a very specific (some would say narrow) range of smaller sounds, they remain distinguishably distinct.

Greatest among the differentiating factors is that of the surface upon which the rain lands, drops of rain like tiny hands striking the skins of myriad drums.

The metal deck of the balcony. Potted plants placed thereupon. In the garden just beyond, various trees, and each type of foliage leading the rain to produce a distinct sound—a palm frond differing from clusters of pine needles or the broad leaf of a paulownia, for example.

Then there’s the swath of textile covering the ground behind the building to keep weeds at bay, and the small concrete pad at the edge of the lot. In the neighbor’s driveways, cars lend their surfaces.

The rooves of different buildings, as well, from the flat tar roof above me, to the ceramic tile on one neighbor’s house, to the corrugated steel on another.

The longer you focus on it, the greater the detail and variation that becomes apparent.

With my eyes closed, I lie still in bed, listening intently. It is still dark, and the alarm won’t go off for three and a half hours more.

I will go back to sleep soon. This won’t be hard. The first days of September have brought weather cool enough to feel cozy in, and a steady drizzle to play the part of a waterlogged lullaby. I try to hear as many of its details as I can before the soft, velvet darkness of sleep once again enfolds me and the soft patter of the rain dissolves into nothing.

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Picture of David R Munson

David R Munson

Photographer, essayist, wanderer, weirdo. Everything is interesting if you give it an honest chance to be.

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