Friday, December 19th, 2003 http://adamkhan.net/rambles/the-beauty-of-rain
here is nothing like the beauty of rain; it makes the rocks shine, it puts in motion things that are otherwise static, it illustrates gravity most prettily. The problem is, you have to get wet to be outside and enjoy it, no? No, no longer. Today we can purchase rainwear easily and inexpensively, allowing us to splash about unfettered, both hands free, in the flashing, dropping, gorgeous rain.
There’s nothing like being out in the rain for hours on end without getting wet. There’s nobody else out there, so you feel like you have the earth to yourself. The Japanese have an appreciation for the aesthetics of rain, though I think that rainwear, as opposed to the umbrella, is a bit inelegant for them. I’m sure I don’t contribute to the beauty of the scene in my Froggtoggs.
I’m looking around for a poster I saw up around town when I was in Kyoto, it was of a man and a woman passing each other in the rain, she with her umbrella modestly covering her face. It was beautiful and chaste and sexy and exotic and sophisticated and plain all at once. I looked around and couldn’t find it, but I did find a photographer’s blog based in Kyoto, Alive in Kyoto and boy it recaptures some of the beauty of the place for me, and it led me to the web site of the painter who did this, to yer right.
To me, Kyoto has echoes of Jerusalem; they are both holy cities, full of temples and nestled among hills. But whereas Jerusalem seems more fraught, Kyoto seems more elegant; and of course, elegance is a more valued part of Japanese spirituality than it is Judeo-Christian. Which is why it’s such a delight for us Occidentals.