Friday, September 26, 2008

The Battle: A Story of Wind

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh, hear!
-Percy Bysshe Shelley (Ode to the West Wind)

I love the wind. It's the only phenomena in nature that I respond to. There is just this sense of power and calm when you feel the wind in your face, whether it be a gust or a breeze. Just to stand outside and let the intensity of it run through your clothes and skin, to me, is the most exhilarating feeling ever given to us on this green Earth.

That doesn't mean that nature is always nice and formal. With the effects of Hurricane Ike still being tallied we can never underestimate what this crazy planet can do. The hurricane even gave a little hit to my hometown on September 14. By the time it reached us, the hurricane calmed down a lot since Galveston, but the wind still had the strength of a stubborn lower level hurricane (somewhere in the 20 mph range). At around 2 pm our power got knocked out by the wind along with 680,000 others around us. I didn't mind it initially, just because I always found the wind so fascinating, even if it did knock branches off trees and shingles from rooftops. After two spells of standing in the middle of the street and just enjoying it, I decided to to call the wind out.

You see, when God gave the Earth to us humans, he basically stated that this was our domain to be watched over. So over the entire course of history, the human race has continued its dominance over its domain with ingenuity, intellect and ever-changing technology. My favorite author, Ayn Rand, points out how every new advancement and skill we come up with as individual beings is a glorious statement to the power of humanity's spirit. So with that in mind, I decided to have a mental battle: the wind against me.

Armed with my iPod, I headed outside towards the gusting winds while blaring "Tales of a Scorched Earth" by the Smashing Pumpkins. When the lyrics blasted (So fuck it all cause I don't care/So what somehow somewhere we dared/To try to dare to dare for a little more), this sense of empowerment started rising in me. I was pacing up the street and yelling at the wind as if to say, "Yeah, come on! Is that the best you got?" It got better when I played U2's "The Electric Co." I started running, doing windmill air guitar moves and jumping around like a goon, with nothing in my way (except for the presence of our fellow neighbors who were checking out their respective damage).

Finally, I decided to go all out. Opening my shirt, I began listening to The Who's rendition of "Young Man Blues" from their famous gig at Leeds. With a band like The Who, you feel like you can take on the world and win. This thought was the most potent during the line (Well, you know in the old days/When a young man was a strong man/All the people they stepped back/When a young man walked by). During this line I held out my arm as if I was going to stop the wind with my bare hands as it flapped in the folds of my shirt. I kept running and jumping all the way through the song and by the end of it, I felt I won.

As I was rebuttoning my shirt and heading back inside, a small drizzle began, perhaps as a cop out, but the match was over. Before 7 pm our power came back and the house was back to normal; but I knew I had fought the fight, and humanity won... again.

No comments: